FAQ

Click on a question to be taken to the answer.

How does drug checking work?

Will you be at X event?
Can I send you drugs for testing and/or is there somewhere I can get stuff tested outside events?
How much does testing cost?
Do I get my drugs back?
Can you determine the purity of a substance?
Do the Police hassle you?
Will the Police hassle me?
Where can I find the good drugs?

How does KnowYourStuffNZ work?

Who funds you?
How many events do you go to each year?
What services do you provide?
Who provides the service?
What is the legality of your service?
How can I get involved?
How can I support the service?

What is KnowYourStuffNZ’s stance on drug use?

What are your views on recreational drug use?
Does your service imply that recreational drug use is safe?
Doesn’t your service encourage drug use?
Do you tell the police what you have found?

Data and results

How much XYZ have you found and how does that compare with other years?
Is there a record of what you’ve found?
What do you do with the data?

FAQ For Media

Who should I contact for comment?
What have you been finding?
What events will you be going to?
Can I film inside your tent?
Who runs the service?

Know Your Stuff-9

Will you be at X event?

We are unable to share details of what events we will be attending without the express permission of the organisers, due to the way the law makes them vulnerable to prosecution or other negative consequences.

We are working to change that and hope that by the 2019/20 summer season this won’t be an issue any more. At that point, we will work with event organisers to publicise where we will be.

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Can I send you drugs for testing and/or is there somewhere I can get stuff tested outside events?

We can’t offer testing services outside of events right now but we are working to change this.

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How much does testing cost?

We do not charge our clients for testing.

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Do I get my drugs back?

No. The sample you present for testing will be destroyed, but we only need a tiny amount (about half a match-head). It’s up to you how much you provide.

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Can you determine the purity of a substance?

No. The technology we use (FT-IR spectroscopy) is the best technology for field testing. We can tell you exactly what substances your sample contains, including active ingredients, fillers, cuts, or potentially dangerous substitutions or additives. We cannot measure purity.

We would like to be able to take samples for later lab testing as that could measure purity. However, with the law as it currently stands, we cannot do this. We are working to change this.

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Do the Police hassle you?

The Police want to see less drug-related harm. Drug checking reduces harm.  Thus, we have good relationships with the Police.

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Will the police hassle me?

That depends whether you get in their face or not.

But seriously, our service exists in a legal grey area right now and the Police have been using their discretion. Don’t be a dickhead and you should be fine.

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Where can I find the good drugs?

Even if we knew, we wouldn’t tell you. Please don’t ask us this.

All client results are confidential. We publicise what we have found overall, but will not identify specific clients or events.

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Who funds you?

You do. We run entirely off donations.

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How many events do you go to each year?

For the 2018/19 season, we set a new record of 15 events. Hopefully with a law change we can get more funding and have a presence at more events.

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What services do you provide?

We provide advice about drug use and harm reduction. This takes the form of a conversation about risks, what users can expect from taking a drug, what to look out for and when to seek medical help, drug interactions, and how to keep other people safe. We also provide drug checking.

Testing and identifying substances allows for a further specific discussion about the risks and potential harms of that particular substance.

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Who provides the service?

We are all volunteers. We have backgrounds in drug counselling, chemistry, policy, and event management. Some of our key people.

We have over thirty people working with us.

We are independent but work in partnership with the NZ Drug Foundation, who have provided us with the use of their spectrometer.

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What is the legality of your service?

Our service is legal.

We are not in possession of illegal substances at any point in the testing. Our clients do all of the sample preparation and handling, with our guidance. We do not supply drugs, and any illegal substance used in testing is not returned.

However, it is a crime under Section 12 of the Misuse of Drugs Act to knowingly provide a venue for taking illicit drugs. Whether providing our service at an event means the event is providing a venue is unclear, meaning event organisers are taking a legal risk by allowing us to operate.

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How do I get involved?

Contact our volunteer co-ordinator through our web form. Remember to let us know your approximate location and the amount of time you’re able to commit.

It may take a while for us to respond, but we will get back to you.

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How can I support your service?

As we are completely funded by donations, we need your financial support. All donations are gratefully accepted.  Donations page

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What are your views on recreational drug use?

Our service exists to address drug-related harm, not drug use. We have a non-judgemental stance on drug use. Moralising doesn’t change behaviour or keep people safe.

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Does your service imply that recreational drug use is safe?

No.

Before testing, all clients are told that “Drug checking does not provide a guarantee of safety. All drug use is risky and the only way to be completely safe is to not use drugs. Individuals respond differently to drugs, and drug checking does not provide information about how I personally will respond.”

All drug use has risks. Our evidence shows that if you give people information about what they have, they make safer choices, but safer is not the same as 100% safe.

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Doesn’t your service encourage drug use?

Our clients have already purchased drugs and are already planning on using those drugs. If anything, we are reducing drug use as people with negative test results will either destroy their substances or choose not to take them.

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Do you tell the police what you have found?

At the end of each season, we share our results publicly. We sit down with the Ministry of Health and the Police to discuss what we have found overall. We do not identify individual events.

During the season if we find particularly dangerous chemicals then we will let everyone know immediately, including the public, the Police, event medics, and other harm reduction bodies like Deep Space.

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How much XYZ have you found and how does that compare with other years?

We post alerts and information about what we’ve been finding and any issues of concern on our blog throughout the festival season, on our Latest News page.

At the end of each season, results are collated and posted to ‘Our Results’. Historic results and comparisons to previous years are also available on this page.

At this stage we cannot provide results per event.

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Is there a record of what you’ve found?

Data about what we’ve found is made public at the end of each season. Each year we summarise the data with links to more detailed information including specifics of type and number of substances. Our results.

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What do you do with the data?

We publish each year’s results on our website and share them openly. The results are anonymised and aggregated so that we do not identify individuals or events.

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FAQ FOR MEDIA

Who should I contact for comment?

Please contact our media spokesperson through our web form. You will be provided with a phone number for future contact. If you do not receive a response to your contact, please check your filters – our responses are sometimes auto-filtered by some organisations.

Please note that we are all volunteers. We have a good relationship with the media and are happy to answer your questions, but please be considerate of our time when you contact us.

Phone calls before 8am and after 6pm will not be returned.

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What have you been finding?

We post alerts and information about any issues of concern on our blog throughout the festival season, on our Latest News page.

At the end of each season, results are collated and posted to Our Results. Historic results and comparisons to previous years are also available on this page.

If you would like to be added to our media list to receive our occasional press releases, please contact us.

At this stage we cannot provide results per event.

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What events will you be going to?

We’re unable to share details of what events we will be attending without the express permission of the organisers, due to the way the law makes them vulnerable (see The Law section).

We are working to change that and hope that by the 2019/20 summer season this won’t be an issue any more. At that point, we will work with event organisers to publicise where we will be.

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Can I film inside your tent?

We guarantee privacy to our clients, therefore no cameras are permitted inside the testing area without the express permission of clients and the organiser of the event.  

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Who runs the service?

We are an independent, volunteer-run organisation. Click here to see who we are.

We partner with the NZ Drug Foundation, who have provided us with the use of their spectrometer, but we are independent of them. Please do not credit our work solely to NZ Drug Foundation, as many journalists have done.

When referring to our partnership, the correct reference is “KnowYourStuffNZ, operating in partnership with the NZ Drug Foundation.. “  

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