Walk-In Drug Testing Booths To Be Launched In England

A fifth decided not to take substances when trialled

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Earlier this year Fabric lost their license after two drug related deaths at the club. They won an appeal to re-open earlier this month, but with new stringent guidelines their security must adhere to.

Now, in another indication that the police are coming to terms with the unending nature of drug culture in clubs, comes the news that Preston, Lancashire are to trial public walk-in drug testing booths aimed to reduce harm to young clubbers.

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The booths will be on the streets in caravan set ups and mean people can walk in and test the quality and composition of illegal drugs before taking them. The police have backed the move with a spokesman commenting, "Some form of testing may be a really useful and practical way forward."

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Fiona Measham, co-director of drugs charity The Loop said: "It's a very new service and some people might see it as quite radical, but it's focusing on harm reduction."

But not all are pleased with this development. "I am staggered this is being contemplated," said Professor Neil McKeganey, founder of the Centre for Substance Use Research. "The police are advocating a view which one would not unfairly describe as facilitating drug use.

Despite this, evidence for the testing facilities speaks volumes. When trialled earlier this summer at festivals such as Secret Garden Party, around a fifth of people decided not to take drugs they had bought after finding out what was actually in them.

"If we look at the evidence of other countries which already have this drug testing, we've found they have much lower mortality rates in relation to drugs," Measham said, "In Switzerland they've had no party drug deaths for the last seven years. In the UK, 57 people died last year from ecstasy."