Home > The Scottish drug checking project.

CREW 2000, University of Stirling. (2022) The Scottish drug checking project.

External website: https://www.crew.scot/the-scottish-drug-checking-p...

This study is funded by the Scottish Government/Corra Foundation/Drug Deaths Taskforce and aims to explore how best to establish drug checking in Scotland. The two-year project (ending in March 2023) aims to build an evidence base for, and support the development of, drug checking services in Scotland across three cities: Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee. It involved interviews with people with experience of drug use, affected family members, and a range of professionals, to gain an understanding of the key opportunities and barriers to providing city-based drug checking services in Scotland. The project has also analysed the international evidence on drug checking, to assess how such findings will fit with a Scottish context.

Crew were part of the advisory group for the project, working closely with city leads in Dundee, Aberdeen and Glasgow, who continue to help inform the implementation of drug checking services. Other Scottish cities are also involved in the project as part of their ‘fact-finding’ process about drug checking and what it can offer. The study also involves the development of standard operating procedures and Home Office licence applications for sites. A wide range of outputs will be produced over the duration of the study.

Drug checking is a service where people can hand in a small sample of drugs for testing, so that they can receive information about what is in the sample. Services are confidential and anonymous. As well as providing information about what is in a drug sample, trained staff at the service can offer harm reduction support around things such as poly-substance use, safer dosage, and how drugs interact with medications. People who use drugs currently have very little reliable information about the strength and content of what they are taking, which puts them at risk of harm. Drugs can have very different strengths and contents, and people can be 'mis-sold' drugs (meaning that the drugs they have bought do not contain the substance that they thought). Scotland currently has the highest level of drug related deaths in Europe and there is a need for such services to help keep people safer. Although drug checking services are set up in Europe, the US, Canada, and elsewhere, there aren't any in Scotland.

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