Prevention through analysis-based intervention
Fact: Psychoactive substances are illegal. It is also a fact that substances containing extender compounds or high-dose substances reach unsuspecting consumers on the black market.
This is a fact that cannot be explained away or ignored. The consequences are life-threatening or even fatal emergencies. But it is also a fact that abuse and accidents can be prevented by drug checking.
With our QTests drug checking will become even more reliable, easier and more cost-effective, enabling drug checking in Germany and beyond will become possible.
Drug Checking - More than just testing drug ingredients
By the way, there is more to Drug Checking projects than the name suggests.
It is not about a home substance analysis carried out in advance, but rather a professional prevention service offered by specially trained drug checkers. Drug checking includes chemical analysis, in which drugs are subjected to a substance test as well as the examination of composition and active substance concentration.
It is completed with a subsequent consultation with the user on the effects, risks, possible and probable harm. The offer of such systematic drug substance testing is very low-threshold and low-threshold and particularly effective. This is also because mobile drug where the prohibited substances can be found: At concerts, parties or festivals.
This means that, for the first time, people who have not been sufficiently receptive to prevention measures were not sufficiently open or accessible.
... and effective on more than one level.
The experience of drug checkers coincides with the results of survey research: drug checking has a significant influence on consumer behavior.
Consumers become more cautious, more reflective, or refrain from taking drugs altogether if the results of the analysis do not match their expectations or the promises of third parties. In addition, drug check projects are an excellent early warning system, as they enable in-depth, systematic scanning of the market.
Emerging extenders or overdoses can thus be identified and indicated at an early stage. Other countries in Europe have already begun to exploit the potential of drug checking: for example, drugs are being tested for ingredients and successful drug checking projects are being implemented in Switzerland , Great Britain and Austria.
This is what happens at miraculix Drug Checking in Germany
Drug Checking is particularly influential when it is offered on-site at the place where the consumption takes place. In this case, the consumers are directly involved in the testing of drug ingredients. They independently take a sample for the drug substance test, weigh it and perform the first step themselves with the miraculix test kit: The extraction.
This renders the substance unusable and Drug Checker can take over the next analysis steps without hesitation. Depending on the substance tested, the result is available after a maximum of 30 minutes, and the consultation can begin.
The advantage of miraculix QTests lies not only in the rapid analysis but also in the exact determination of active substance concentrations and compositions. We also perform complementary antibody tests that additionally detect traces of active substances for which there is currently no QTest.
In addition, further qualitative reagents or thin-layer chromatography are used to further expand the informative value of the analysis-based intervention. Drug checkers thus have profound knowledge of the specific individual case and can combine this with objective substance information and their knowledge of dosages and incorporate it into the consultation.
Mobile Drug Checking in Germany -
The Thuringian Model Project
Drug testing in Germany - is it that simple? Exactly not. Besides the financial, organizational and personnel costs, legal certainty has long been a critical has long been a critical buzzword. Our QTests solve some of the problems that have arisen. Problems, and, in particular, they create legal certainty for drug checkers.
In 2021, together with “Suchthilfe in Thüringen gGmbH“, we launched the first mobile drug checking in Germany as a large-scale model project. Although the Covid 19 pandemic thinned out the calendar of events, mobile drug checking was used at many raves, festivals and open air events. Besides the obvious goal of protecting people from harm and misuse, we were also interested in concentrations, and to systematically record and to catalog substances them.
Conclusion: By working together, we were able to combine chemical-toxicological analysis with low-threshold counseling services and perfected them into an analysis-based intervention. The project is a successful model for Drug Checking in Germany - for the first time and hopefully not unique.
This is how it works with us
There is an idea or a first contact between organizers and an initiative. You want to create a low-threshold offer together and need support, advice, tests for chemical-toxicological analysis?
2. First steps
Together we will define the framework for the project, clarify urgent questions on your and our side, define your experience in dealing with substance analysis and discuss the organizations around the event.
The event is getting closer, high time to get concrete. At the workshop, we will go through the workflow for the event, adapt consulting concepts to the event, and train you in the use of QTests.
HEIKE WERNER, HEALTH MINISTER OF THURINGIAI am incredibly proud and grateful that we have launched this project in Thuringia.
It is unique in Germany and serves as a role model
What else is there to know
What we are often asked about drug checking:
Oh yes it is! The Epidemiological Survey on Addiction 2018 revealed that around 15.2 million Germans between the ages of 18 and 64 had used illicit drugs at least once in their lives at the time of the survey. That is ten percent more than in 2008. In general, the use of illegal drugs has increased throughout Europe in the last 30 years. At the same time, concentrations in substances are increasing, extenders, impurities and synthetic active ingredients are becoming more common. Therefore, we need prevention services that help people protect themselves from harm or abuse. Drug checking is by far one of the most effective measures. That’s why we advocate the establishment of drug checking in Germany.
In principle, drug checking and our preferred variant of analysis-based intervention mean the same thing. However, we would like to suggest that the focus is differently set already in the naming. The decisive intervention in Drug Checking is the counseling interview, which draws its persuasive power from a well-founded Drug Check. That is, the drug substance test is not the result of the prevention intervention, but rather its factual basis, an effective means for the purpose of intervention. Therefore, drug checking is analysis-based intervention.
Drug testing in Germany often means a risk or at least a legal gray area for drug checkers, since they are at least temporarily handling illegal substances during the analysis. Our QTests solve this problem because they work in a two-step procedure. Step one involves extraction, where a sample of the substance is placed in a solvent. This causes the sample to lose its psychoactive effect and the Drug Checker can work with it without hesitation or legal consequences. This procedure is unique to miraculix QTests, which is why they are so well suited for drug checking in Germany.
Intervention needs a protected space. Consumers need to feel safe from sanctions, so that they dare to take up the offer of a drug check. Public announcements of drug substance tests would directly endanger this protected space, therefore we do not "advertise" our attendance of events.
No, we do not currently offer inpatient drug substance testing. If you have a hunch or suspicion about which drug it might be, you can also use our QTests.
In principle we are open for such projects. Let us talk about it and just contact us and we will be happy to talk to you.
We can detect cocaine in samples using antibody tests and qualitative reagents. A corresponding QTest that quantifies cocaine or allows reliable statements about the concentration of levamisole does not yet exist, but is already in progress. With the current methods, we can at least make an educated guess. However, we are also working on a simple and straightforward test procedure to quantify levamisole.
For the active ingredients psilocybin, MDMA, LSD as well as THC and CBD miraculix QTests are available. In addition, further dye tests and specific antibody tests are used, which further support the analysis-based intervention. For common drugs such as cocaine, fentanyl or amphetamines do not yet have a QTest up our sleeve.
This refers to the cooperation project between miraculix and the Thuringian Drug Checking pilot project "SubCheck" of the "Suchthilfe in Thüringen gGmbh". The project takes place on the Thuringian Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Health, Women and Family. The aim is to systematically test the potential of drug checking in Germany and Thuringia, respectively, and to show new potentials for prevention offers. You can learn more about the project in our blog.
Yes, we always recommend a joint drug check workshop before going into the field for the first time. In this way, all participants can learn the test procedures, and develop their own routine. Questions and ambiguities can also be clarified immediately, so that misunderstandings or careless mistakes can be avoided directly.
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