MedicalXpress Breaking News-and-Events|February 7, 2022 MDLinx
A recent study has found that so-called "drug checking" programs have unexpected benefits, allowing public health programs to reach and work with people who use drugs who would otherwise not access services such as HIV testing.
Drug checking refers to analyzing illegal drugs, or prescription drugs not acquired from a pharmacy, that people have used or are about to use. There are various technologies available for drug checking, but the ultimate goal is to reduce overdoses and other health risks associated with an increasingly contaminated illicit drug supply.
"We already knew that using fentanyl test strips reduces overdoses in the United States—these are used to identify whether fentanyl is present in other drugs," says Jennifer Carroll, an assistant professor of anthropology at North Carolina State University and first author of a paper on the study. "We also knew that drug checking with advanced technologies, such as spectrometers, has been very effective at preventing drug overdoses in other countries, such as Canada and the United Kingdom.
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