Delivered by professional health workers.
Chemical analysis of the substance is used to support an informed health
intervention based on the individual’s physical and psychological health.
Information is disseminated regarding real risks of drug use and ways to
reduce these risks.
Operated in partnership with health, ambulance and police services.

47% of samples tested at CanTest did not contain the expected drug.
Approximately one in ten samples tested resulted in a drug being
discarded at the service
70% of people who accessed CanTest reported never previously
accessing a healthcare worker for information or advice about drug use
When the substance was not what was expected, or it contained an
additional drug, or testing was inconclusive; CanTest service users were
four times more likely to report they would ‘definitely not’ use the drug.

Drug checking is not new, it has been available for many years in more
than 20 countries worldwide including New Zealand, the UK, Canada, the
United States and a large number of European countries like Germany,
Spain and France.
Drug Information and Monitoring System in the Netherlands currently
operates at 23 fixed-site locations and has been in operation since 1992.
A comparison of countries with and without drug checking services
indicated no evidence of an increase in rates of drug use or mortality in
countries with these services.

Opportunity to effectively encourage people who use illicit drugs to
modify their behaviours in ways thatreduce risks of harm to their health.
Drug checking services do not return sample substances to people after
they’ve been tested.
Many people who discovered that their substance was not as expected,
chose to hand over further substances for secure disposal.
Improves engagement with people who may use drugs who may be
unwilling to discuss their drug use with other services.
Potential early warning system and drug market monitoring.
Efficient and effective way to increase safety.
Efficient harm reduction strategy.

Originally developed
by the Pill Testing for
Queensland Alliance