Home > Drug checking as a harm reduction tool for recreational drug users: opportunities and challenges.

Brunt, Tibor [EMCDDA] . (2017) Drug checking as a harm reduction tool for recreational drug users: opportunities and challenges. Lisbon: European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. 21 p.

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A number of European countries have implemented drug checking with the aim of providing targeted preventive messages to recreational drug users. This approach, which is more individualised than mass media campaigns, provides an incentive for drug users to participate in a dialogue about prevention and harm reduction, because they get to know the test results, that is they receive information about the particular drugs they are consuming. Pharmacovigilance in the form of drug-checking systems has resulted in timely warning campaigns specifically directed at groups at risk, conveying a level of professionalism that is appreciated by recreational drug users. Such an approach creates more awareness about the specific drugs that are consumed and the options for drug checking. By no means should these arguments in favour of drug testing be considered scientific evidence of its efficacy, but such considerations might be helpful for stakeholders deliberating whether or not to introduce drug testing. Complemented by other activities implemented in nightlife settings, such as chill-out rooms, the provision of factual and trustworthy information, counselling, good ventilation and other precautionary safety measures, drug checking can serve as an extension of prevention and harm reduction interventions, potentially saving lives.

 

Background paper commissioned by the EMCDDA for Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide

Item Type:Evidence resource
Publication Type:Report
Drug Type:Alcohol or other drugs in general, Cannabis, CNS depressants, CNS stimulants, Cocaine, Inhalents and solvents, Opioid, New psychoactive substance
Intervention Type:AOD disorder harm reduction, Screening
Source:EMCDDA
Date:October 2017
Pages:21 p.
Publisher:European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
Place of Publication:Lisbon
EndNote:View
Related URLs:
Subjects:E Concepts in biomedical areas > Pharmacology and toxicology
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Substance use prevention > Substance use harm reduction
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Identification and screening
L Social psychology and related concepts > Social context
MA-ML Social science, culture and community > Sociocultural aspects of substance use > Recreational drug use
VA Geographic area > Europe

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