For some time now, the Drug Foundation and KnowYourStuffNZ have been checking drugs at music festivals and handing out potentially lifesaving advice.
But festivals are mainly a summer event, and we all know that drug-taking is not limited to summer or festivals. So in the interests of public safety, we’re extending a trial of our drug checking service to include the winter months in Wellington CBD.
Starting Thursday 18 July, we’ll be offering discreet, confidential and free drug checking once a month at the Drug Foundation office in Wellington. We hope that in time we can run the service all year round, from multiple locations across New Zealand.
Volunteers from KnowYourStuffNZ and the Drug Foundation use a combination of infrared technology and reagent testing, which allows them to identify over 95 percent of substances.
We’re proud of our success rate: A client survey by KnowYourStuffNZ volunteers showed that most people taking drugs understand the risks and will take them anyway, but three years of data consistently shows that when confronted with a test result that reveals their substance is not what they thought, many people will choose not to take it.
Drug checking is also a unique opportunity for volunteers to offer tailored harm reduction advice, and potentially get people thinking more actively about their drug use.
Participants are always reminded that the safest option is to not take a substance.
Drop-in drug checking in Wellington is being held at level 4, 265 Wakefield Street, on the following dates:
Survey participants also reported that barriers to accessing services, resources and information were high.
A group of powerful synthetic opioids that were first detected in the country just a year ago may have already been linked to several deaths.
95% of respondents reported positive effects, in a study that looked at both prescription and black market cannabis use.