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High demand for drug check in Berlin

Haschisch (vorne, l), Ecstasy (oben) und Crystal

Hashish (front, l), ecstasy (top) and crystal lie on a table in a laboratory.

A good two months after the start of free drug analyses in Berlin, the model project is registering strong demand.

Every week, up to 47 samples are taken, as the Senate Department for Health informed the Deutsche Presse-Agentur. Since the start of drug checking at the beginning of June, a total of 428 samples have been examined. A spokesperson for the Senate Administration explained that the demand clearly exceeded the available capacities of the three agencies. About 380 potential users had to be turned away because of this.

Warnings for 30 to 50 per cent of the drugs submitted

So far, several dozen warnings for drugs that have already been tested are listed on the project website. Laboratory analyses revealed, for example, admixtures of unknown substances, impurities with known substances or too high dosages. In the meantime, the warning rate for the samples submitted varies from 30 per cent to more than 50 per cent, it said. The drugs frequently analysed included ecstasy, pure amphetamine, amphetamine-caffeine mixtures (speed) as well as mephedrone, cocaine, ketamine and LSD.

Drug checking project in regular operation since June

The offer to analyse substances is aimed at addicts who consume daily, but also, for example, at partygoers who only use drugs at the weekend. The substances are analysed in a neutral laboratory through the State Institute for Forensic and Social Medicine. The model project started routine operation on 6 June after a test phase in April and May. The addiction counselling centres vista and Fixpunkt as well as the gay counselling service are involved.

Author: dpa/
Publication date: 14 August 2023
Last updated: 14 August 2023

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