Drug checking in supervised drug consumption room: rationale, methods and results
Drug checking in nightlife and community settings is an intervention that includes a substance analysis and a brief motivational harm reduction intervention. It exists in a small but growing number of countries. In recent years there have been attempts to implement the intervention also in supervised drug consumption rooms/sites (DCRs) with the aims to protect drug users’ health by providing information on the substances they buy and by addressing safer use issues, and by monitoring the black market. DCRs provide a new context for drug checking interventions providing both opportunities (large population of drug users, staff trained for harm reduction interventions, safety issues) and challenges (very short time for the intervention, unknown impact on the drug market, etc.). This structured session aims to explore the rationale, methods and results of the implementation of drug checking interventions in DCRs with examples from three different countries and contexts: 1) Canada, where drug checking has been implemented in DCRs within the context of the fentanyl crisis. 2) Spain (Catalonia), where the drug checking service of Energy Control has been offered to DCRs since 2009 3) Switzerland, where DCRs have existed for several decades and drug checking is increasingly seen as an additional harm reduction tool to be used within these services.