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Pill testing or drug checking in Australia: acceptability of service design features

Barratt, MJ, Bruno, RB ORCID: 0000-0001-6673-833X, Ezard, N and Ritter, A 2017 , 'Pill testing or drug checking in Australia: acceptability of service design features' , Drug and Alcohol Review, vol. 37, no. 2 , pp. 226-236 , doi: 10.1111/dar.12576.

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Introduction and Aims: This study aimed to determine design features of a drug-checking service that would be feasible,attractive and likely to be used by Australian festival and nightlife attendees. Design and Methods: Web survey of 851Australians reporting use of psychostimulants and/or hallucinogens and attendance at licensed venues past midnight and/or festivalsin the past year (70% male; median age 23 years). Results: A drug-checking service located at festivals or clubs would be used by94%; a fixed-site service external to such events by 85%. Most (80%) were willing to wait an hour for their result. Almost all (94%)would not use a service if there was a possibility of arrest, and a majority (64%) would not use a service that did not provideindividual feedback of results. Drug-checking results were only slightly more attractive if they provided comprehensive quantitativeresults compared with qualitative results of key ingredients. Most (93%) were willing to pay up to $5, and 68% up to $10, per test.One-third (33%) reported willingness to donate a whole dose for testing: they were more likely to be male, younger, less experienced,use drugs more frequently and attend venues/festivals less frequently. Discussion and Conclusions: In this sample, festival- orclub-based drug-checking services with low wait times and low cost appear broadly attractive under conditions of legal amnesty andindividualised feedback. Quantitative analysis of ecstasy pills requiring surrender of a whole pill may appeal to a minority inAustralia where pills are more expensive than elsewhere.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Barratt, MJ and Bruno, RB and Ezard, N and Ritter, A
Keywords: pill checking, harm reduction
Journal or Publication Title: Drug and Alcohol Review
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0959-5236
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/dar.12576
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs

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