Currently, seven countries offer illegal drug testing, including Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands, but in one nation, Colombia, the testing is administered on the site itself. At a recent electronic music festival in Bogota, a drug testing laboratory was set up just a few steps from the dance floor where drug abusers could have their substances checked on-site.
Julian Molina, who works for the NGO Accion Tecnica Social says, “We can perform chemical tests that allow us to define two things: whether the substance is what the user thinks it is, and whether it contains a dangerous adulterant. The idea is to have reliable information to help you make a better decision about whether or not to take the risk.”
Which drugs are the most and least likely to be combined with fillers? Cocaine and amphetamines lead the pack by being degraded the most with other substances. In Colombia, the cocaine may be only 25%-50% pure. The substances added the most are caffeine, levamisole, phenacetine and local anesthetics.
Currently, there is no LSD test, but many say what is being sold in Colombia is unlikely to be LSD. “Most of what’s selling as LSD in Bogota right now really isn’t,” says Molina. “Consumers have no idea what it is.”
Ecstasy (MDMA) has had the lowest amount of degradation, but users are taking doses that average 10% more over the last six months. With this increase in use, a few ecstasy tablets can provide even more harmful effects to the abuser.
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