Out now: factsheet on long-standing experiences with drug checking in the Netherlands

14 mei 2019

Year by year, drug checking, either meant as a harm reduction intervention or as a tool to monitor the market in illicit drugs, is gaining ground worldwide. The Dutch Drugs Information and Monitoring System (DIMS) has, along with a number of other European services, ample experience in testing drugs for consumers. Given this experience, it is now time to share experiences and learn from each other. We do this first and foremost by publishing a factsheet in English on drug checking.

This factsheet describes main features of DIMS:

  • which agreements DIMS has made with national and local authorities to enable users to hand in more than 200 samples every week to the 31 drug checking services in the country for analysis.
  • which strategies have been used to successfully issue impactful warning campaigns
  • which considerations have led to the decision not to expand to on-site drug checking.
  • what drug checking by DIMS has brought the Netherlands
  • how the data collected by DIMS can be used for scientific research on several trends on drugs and drug markets.

Finally, the factsheet adresses several FAQs (e.g. Does drug checking save lives? Does drug checking promote drug use?).

In light of this DIMS has held a Drug Checking Expert Day on May 14th where a diverse group of scientists, policymakers and drug checking professionals have come together to discuss a number of relevant themes, including risk communication, dealing with media, and frequently asked questions.

DIMS is also actively participating in this week’s Club Health Conference, on nightlife, substance use and related health issues, held in Amsterdam 15-17 May 2019.