Pompidou Group Groupe Pompidou
Council of Europe Conseil de L'Europe

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The #Spanish #DrugChecking project #Ailaket decentralised its services as an reaction to COVID-19. Three new collection points have been opened in cooperation with the government so that people who use drugs do not have to travel far to have their drug samples tested for harmful adulterants.

The objectives of this project are

a) to inform and advise people who use drugs
b) to make referrals (taking into account the intersectional perspective) and
c) to reduce harmful consumptions of drugs including the risks associated with drug use under the current situation of COVID-19.

The new service has been published by all possible means of communication of the association, by telephone, via e-mail and social networks (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

It must be taken into account that due to the current state of health emergency, an increase in the risk of fraud and/or adulteration in psychoactive substances is expected, which may pose a serious risk to the health of users. In addition to these particular risks, the manner and context in which drugs are traditionally used represent an additional one in terms of spread and contamination. This is why facilities and resource materials were adapted to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In this way, it is possible to continue providing care for people who consumed suspicious illicit substances, or those who need safe harm reduction material for their consumption (mainly for injection use or free base). Besides being able to give users precise information about the composition of the submitted samples and the risks of their consumption, this is also a way of providing information about the composition of the substances circulating on the black market.

In addition to the usual service located in Vitoria-Gasteiz, three more sample collection points have been opened in coordination with other drug consumption prevention entities so that those who cannot go to the association's headquarters in Vitoria-Gasteiz can, after being consulted by telephone, leave the samples for analysis in Bilbao or Donostia. This way the attention of people who use drugs is drawn to the restrictions of movement due to the state of emergency.

This article has been submitted by Ailaket.

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