Harm Reduction In Europe- The EU Endorses Ecstasy Testing In Clubs
Friday, October 12, 2001Ecstasy testing in clubs saves lives and helps drug advice organisations to educate users, a report commissioned by the European Union's official drug advisory unit said this week (The Observer). The report, published by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) noted that ecstasy testing already happens in clubs in Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and Holland and added its formal approval to the controversial practise. Spanish authorities have also just started supporting testing, offering official funding to introduce the service.
Denying that testing encourages more ecstasy use, Gregor Burkhart from the EMCDDA suggested that most users pride themselves on being knowledgeable about drugs and added that providing more accurate information would reduce ecstasy's dangers.
'Most people think they are just recreational users. But there are risks if you combine with alcohol, if you experiment too much, if you take it long term," he said.
His comments came as an Irish website www.clubscene.ie attracted controversy for publishing impartial harm reduction advice including the recommendation that first time users should always take halves instead of whole pills. Such advice would clearly reduce the risk of a first time user suffering adverse affects, though the Irish Times suggested local parents groups might see it as legitimising ecstasy use.
http://www.clubscene.ie (Harm reduction advice, Ireland)
http://www.ireland.com (The Irish Times)