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A safer high? A night with the illegal drug checkers

Like it or not, drugs are a common feature of the UK festival scene, with over £100,000-worth seized in 2012 alone. But could a service that allows users to test the purity of their drugs before consumption help make them safer?

It is 10:30 on a Friday night in the outskirts of Bogota, Colombia and people are preparing for the biggest electronic music party of the year.

The three hanger-sized tents will soon be pulsing with thousands of ravers. But it is not just the music that will be giving people a rush.

That is why, tucked away in a corner, a group of people are installing an innovative addition to this Colombian club night: a drug testing laboratory.

It is currently the only place in the world where party-goers can walk a few steps from the dancefloor and get an instant analysis of what it is they are about to take.

“We can perform chemical tests that allow us to define two things: whether the substance is what the user thinks it is, and whether it contains a dangerous adulterant,” explains Julian Molina, who works for the NGO Accion Tecnica Social.

“The idea is to have reliable information to help you make a better decision about whether or not to take the risk.”

Testing debate

Established drug checking services already exist in Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands, although unlike Colombia, none of them tests on-site in the club.

Read full story on BBC News

Category: World News |

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Last updated March 25, 2017 at 5:40 PM
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