Drug testing

Pure drugs can be dangerous but adulterated or ‘mis-sold’ drugs (where the drug you receive isn’t the drug you intended to buy) are even more so. At least if you can confirm what drug you have, you can make sure you follow harm reduction practices that will help keep you safe. Most people aren’t aware that if you live in the UK, you can get your drugs tested confidentially and for free.

Where can I get my drugs tested?

The organisation that does this is the Welsh Emerging Drugs & Identification of Novel Substances Project (WEDINOS). They began testing drug in 2009 after noticing an increase in hospital admissions where the person had taken drugs but neither the patient nor the clinical team could work out what they had taken. WEDINOS tracks newly emerging substances and drug trends to inform public health interventions. Sending off a sample is easy, just take a look at the instruction on the WEDINOS website.

What should I do with my results?

  1. Remember the limitations of testing. WEDINOS tells you the major and minor components of the sample. It does not give you the purity and cannot tell you the dosage in a pill. Even if you result come back as expected, this does not mean the substance is ‘safe’.
  2. Do some research. Your sample could come back as expected or as a substance you’ve never heard. Whatever the case, spend some time researching each substance before you decide whether or not to take it. Some key things to research are effects, dosage and interactions.
  3. Look up harm reduction techniques. There are some harm reduction techniques to consider whenever you take drugs, others are substance specific. WEDINOS have some great general harm reduction tips on their website. For specific substance, check out our harm reduction pages.
  4. Safely dispose of any substances you don’t want to take. One way of doing this is to empty the drugs into the toilet and flush them. The most important thing is to make sure they are disposed of in a way that doesn’t put others at risk of harm.
  5. Next time you pick up, get it tested. Just because you bought the same drug from the same dealer, doesn’t mean it’s the same substance. Stay vigilant.