Our drug checking report for the 2021-2022 season has been published. We’ve had our busiest season yet, in terms of the numbers of events and clinics that we run, showing the demand for more drug checking as people become more proactive about drug safety.
The report shows
- KnowYourStuffNZ tested 1,611 samples at 40 events between April 2021 and March 2022
- 58% of people will not take their drugs when the substances were not what they were meant to be
- There was a 50% drop in the proportion of cathinones found this year compared to the 2020-2021 season
- There has been an increase in the proportion of substances that tested as being what they’re presumed to be. Between April 2021 and March 2022, our analysis showed that 78% of samples were as presumed by our clients
- 69% of samples were as presumed in 2020-2021 season
- That 78% number is still lower than they have been in the 2018-2020 period but not as bad as during the summer of eutylone in 2020/21.
The COVID-19 pandemic closed down a number of large festivals over summer. We compensated by having smaller regular pop-up clinics in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin, but there was still a 41% drop in sample numbers from last year’s season.
As Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest and oldest drug checking service, we are pleased that more people are making use of our service. However even though we do thousands of tests in a season, data from Police wastewater testing shows that tens of thousands of doses of MDMA alone are consumed in Aotearoa every weekend.
It is clear that what we do only reaches a small fraction of the people who use drugs and that a continued expansion in drug checking services is warranted.