Drug checking, also known as pill testing or adulterant screening, is a harm reduction service that helps drug users avoid ingesting unknown and potentially more dangerous adulterants found in street drugs. Drug checking services also assist emergency medical professionals and public health agencies in identifying trends in illicit drug markets, so they can better serve the needs of the community. The MDMA market, in particular, is a highly adulterated illicit drug market, and DanceSafe provides drug checking services for MDMA users in a number of ways.
We manufacture and sell testing kits from this website so users can test their own powder and tablets. Since 1999, we have sold hundreds of thousands of testing kits to people in dozens of countries.
Laboratory Pill Testing
In 1999, we began a U.S. laboratory pill analysis program, which was taken over as an Erowid project in 2001. EcstasyData.org allows users to anonymously send ecstasy tablets to a DEA-licensed laboratory for full-spectrum gas chromatography testing. The results are posted to the website.
Onsite Pill Testing
When approved by the promoters, DanceSafe provides pill testing services directly from our harm reduction booths at electronic music events. Since 1999, we have tested thousands of ecstasy tablets at hundreds of events in over a dozen cities across the US and Canada. During this time, neither DanceSafe staff members nor volunteers have ever been arrested for providing this service, nor have any users been arrested at our booth while having their pill tested. When possible, we obtain the cooperation of local public health departments.
Fearful of federal “Rave Act” laws that can hold event organizers and venue owners liable for drug use at their events, many promoters feel uncomfortable having us provide pill testing services. We always respect the wishes of promoters and never test pills without their approval. We believe the Rave Act is a regressive law that should be overturned. Drug use cannot be stopped. It takes place everywhere——at sporting events, in public parks, and inside private homes——as much or more so than it does in electronic music events. Only by acknowledging reality can we implement policies that protect public health and safety, and the Rave Act prevents this from happening.
We collaborate with PillReports.net to collect testing kit results from ecstasy users around the world. While reagent testing and subjective experience reports can be very unreliable and are not a substitute for full-spectrum laboratory testing, they can and often provide valuable information to users. You can submit test results directly to PillReports.net.
Europe Leads the Way
Europe leads the World in providing life-saving, drug checking services for ecstasy users. The Nightlife Empowerment & Well-being Network (NEW-NET) is a coalition of over 30 Public Health and Harm Reduction organizations that have developed standards and best practices for drug checking as well as other programs to promote health and safety in nightlife settings. One of their projects, the Trans-European Drug Information Project (TEDI), collects and analyzes street drug samples. Below is an image taken from their latest Trend Report from the Fall of 2013. Here is the full report. Also, here is a 4-minute video of drug checking services in Zurich (partly in English).