Energy Control participates in a special issue on drug checking together with other organizations of the trans-European network TEDI

Experts from four regions have participated in the special issue of the journal Drugs, Habits and Social Policy, where they demonstrate the usefulness of drug analysis

The journal Drugs, Habits and Social Policy has published a special issue edited by members of the Trans-European Drug Information Network (TEDI). It includes ten contributions from experts from four regions of the world that demonstrate the effectiveness and usefulness of drug testing, including the coordinator of the analysis service of the ABD Energy Control program, Mireia Ventura.


What is drug testing or drug checking?
Drug checking allows users to test their substances and receive personalized harm reduction counseling. Due to the illicit nature of the production and distribution of illegal drugs, they may be unintentionally contaminated, deliberately adulterated, sold in varying concentrations and/or mis-sold. Drug checking responds directly to the need to reduce these additional risks.
A favorable international climate


Scientific and political interest in drug checking continues to grow. In 2018, 31 drug testing services were identified and this number has been increasing ever since. The New Zealand government has created a dedicated drug checking licensing system, following legislative support. Hutton, in a contribution to the special issue, outlines the elements that have made this evolution possible: a mobilization of civil society, a shift in political priorities, and the development of an evidence base for the effectiveness of drug checking at the local level.
Drug checking promotes healthy behaviors

Several studies in the special issue highlight the impact of drug testing on harm reduction. Research conducted by Measham and Simmons and Barratt, among others, in England and Australia, respectively, shows more specifically that when users receive results that do not correspond to their expectations, a majority (2/3 to 3/4) either get rid of the substance in question or declare that they intend to do so.

Drug checking as a market surveillance tool

It also makes it possible to monitor drug markets, document the emergence of new psychoactive substances and answer questions that have implications for harm reduction. For example, in a separate study by a DCS operated by Échele Cabeza in Colombia, Diaz Moreno and others identified more than a dozen different substances in samples of tusi, an incoherent mixture of substances with widely varying effects. Tusi has been circulating for several years in Central and South America, as well as in Spain.

Perspectives for the future

The TEDI network considers that the following 3 points are essential to improve the development of drug checking services:

– Providing drug checking with a stronger legal basis would increase its scope and reach in many countries.  

– Provide universal access to drug checking from regular and reliable resources from the public, private and third sectors.

– Evaluate their effectiveness and utility using public health data or from a health economics perspective, estimating the health care cost savings involved.

About TEDI

TEDI is a network of European field drug testing services sharing their knowledge and data within a European monitoring and reporting system. TEDI is part of the Nightlife Empowerment & Well-being Network – New Net.

TEDI was created in 2011 to foster the exchange of analytical data between countries and drug checking organizations. It currently represents 21 field drug testing services from 14 different European countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, Finland, Czech Republic and United Kingdom).

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