DRUG CHECKING PROCEDURE – ITALY

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

The BAONPS project (HOME/2014/JDRU/AG/DRUG/7107) is funded by the European Commission, under the Justice Programme. The project aims to identify and monitor New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) in party settings by performing outreach interventions meant to increase people awareness on the drug use and using harm reduction and risk reduction strategies.

Drug checking is carried out using the RAMAN Spectrometry, an instrument that can identify the drug being analyzed without any service staff touching or handling the substance.

The person is requested to insert a small amount of the compound to be examined in a plastic bag and put it on the table for checking.

The technicians in charge of the service will put the RAMAN device close to the plastic bag and will wait a few seconds, in order to let the spectrometry recognise the kind of substance.

The analysis result will be communicated to the person and the social workers will give him/her personalised counselling about the risks and harms that may occur with the use of that substance.

After the analysis, the person will take back the compound analyzed.

If a substance cannot be recognized by RAMAN, the person is requested to give a small amount of the compound to the technicians and the sample will be sent to a  laboratory, to be analysed with the GC-MS technique. The analysis result will be published on the Project web site in the following weeks.

DRUG CHECKING IS AN ANONYMOUS SERVICE.

THE SUPPOSED DRUG IS NOT ACTUALLY HANDLED BY ANY  SOCIAL WORKERS OR TECHNICIANS. THE PERSON ITSELF REQUESTING DRUG CHECKING WILL INSERT A SMALL AMOUNT OF THE COMPOUND IN A PLASTIC BAG. THE PERSON ITSELF WILL TAKE BACK THE SUBSTANCE WHEN THE ANALYSIS IS COMPLETED.

This procedure avoids the transfer and handling of psychoactive substances by people different from users.