On International Drug Checking Day 2022, the Trans-European Drugs Information (TEDI) network launches a website with a unique perspective on the European drug market. TEDI is a network of European drug testing services that share their experiences and data within a European monitoring and information system. TEDI is part of the New Wellness and Empowerment Network (NEWNet).
TEDI was set up in 2011 to encourage the exchange of analytical data between countries and drug control organizations. It now represents 20 field drug analysis services from 13 different European countries (Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Finland and the United Kingdom).
TEDI offers a unique perspective on European drug markets, as opposed to traditional national and European monitoring systems. It collects data through a monitoring and information system that assesses the discrepancy between purchase intent and what drugs are sold as, with test results informing innovative intervention programs in public health to reduce drug-related harm and support safer choices. Test results also feed into local, national and international early warning systems and rapid public alerts for dangerous drugs in circulation.
In addition to information about the TEDI network and its members, the website also provides an interactive map featuring all TEDI members, an extensive list of publications on drug analysis, as well as contact details for drug checking services and the TEDI network.
Dr Mireia Ventura, drug checking services coordinator at Energy Control and head of the TEDI network, said “drug checking has moved from guerrilla to government funded across much of Europe and the TEDI network has provided a supportive framework for the ethical and legal growth of this pioneering health service”.
Guidelines for organizations that want to incorporate a drug checking service
In addition, the website also incorporates new guidelines that provide methodological recommendations for organizations that want to create a substance analysis service. In this way, they will have the resources to understand what equipment they may need, to know the techniques currently used by substance analysis services, to take into consideration their advantages and disadvantages, to learn about guidelines for overcoming legal challenges and to consult case studies.
It should be noted that TEDI is formed by organizations from all over Europe with decades of collective experience in drug checking services. Considering this, each TEDI member works within the unique context of its audience, legal and political framework. Together, TEDI members have years of experience in drug analysis and the use of the results to provide information to reduce harm among people using its services.
With the introduction of these new resources, TEDI wishes to continue to provide tools and instruments to raise awareness about drug checking as a harm reduction service. This is a service that, on the one hand, helps consumers because they avoid using substances that are dangerous to their health and, on the other hand, allows emergency services and public health agencies to identify trends in illicit drug markets, so that they can better meet the needs of the community.
Energy Control, intervention program focused on the risk reduction in the field of drug use from ABD, is part of the founding members of TEDI and the network coordinator.