Drug safety charity The Loop has set up the UK’s first-ever recreational drug testing facility in Bristol. The move comes after several successful test runs at festivals around Britain.
Set up over the weekend, the lab is able to test the strength and quality of drugs that someone bringing them in might take. Police and the courts support the scheme, so people can go in and test their drugs anonymously without fear of prosecution.
In addition to the testing, The Loop offers users 15 minutes of counseling on drug safety.
At Boomtown Festival, a similar scheme was used and well. 20% of those who had their drugs tested decided against taking it, though it is unclear why, and 50% said they would reconsider taking the drugs.
“We are looking at other ways of dealing with things, other approaches, innovative ways, in partnerships with other agencies,” says Inspector Martin Rowland from Avon and Somerset Police to ITV News. “We are support of anything that gives people the opportunity to educate people in terms of some of the drugs they’re taking and perhaps give them the opportunity to make the choice themselves that they won’t go ahead with that sort of behavior.”
The facility will be available in Bristol for the next two weekends and is “on the verge” of going to two other UK cities.