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shambhala

drug checking services 2018

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Who used drug checking services at Shambhala 2018?


The typical person who used drug checking services were men testing their own
samples for the first time, who obtained their substance at Shambhala.

Where were substances obtained? Gender


Onsite: 69% Males: 65%
Offsite: 29% Females: 31%
ground finds: 9% Non-binary folks: 0.5%
Security, online, or from medical: ~1% Trans folks: 0.4%

Who were they testing for?


93% testing for self
35% testing for friends
7% testing for others

Services offered from August


Previous drug checking?
10th-13th First timers: 52%
3,168 drug checks performed Experienced: 42%
98.4% consented to research More than once at Shambhala: 5%
What did people believe their substance was?
We asked participants what substances they believed were in their sample.

MDMA / MDA
0.4%
Most participants believed their 0.4% Indole (LSD etc.)
sample contained a 7%
empathogen (61%) 3%
2C family

Cocaine
14%

47% Speed /
methamphetamine
0.2%
Ketamine

15% GHB

Pharmaceutical
1%
Other
13%

Unknown

Most people believed they had MDMA/MDA (47%), followed by cocaine


(15%), ketamine (14%) and indole/LSD (13%)

How often did belief and testing match?


We checked how often what participants believed they had matched the testing
results for the top four substances checked:
11% 8% 9% 11%
No match No match No match No match
INDOLE( LSD etc.)
MDMA / MDA

KETAMINE
COCAINE

89% 92% 91% 89%


match match match match

Agreement between what participants believed they had and on-site testing
results was high, although 1 in 10 samples did not include the expected drug
Results of colorimetric testing
460 samples on blotters or suspected LSD were checked using colorimetric
methods.

What is colorimetric testing?


2%
Ketamine
This is presumptive – not
10% 82% confirmatory – testing that
indicates the presence of a
MDxx
Indole suspected substance by a change
in colour caused by chemical

(LSD) reactions between a chemical


indicator and the substance.

6% What is spectroscopy?
Other*
A testing method that can identify
the top 3-4 substances that make
Other included: Cocaine: 0.9%; GHB: 0.7%; Other: 0.7%; Meth: 0.4%; 2C: 0.4%;
Unknown: 2.8% up a sample, including cutting
agents.

What are fentanyl test strips?


Results of spectroscopy testing
Fentanyl test strips test specifically
The top substances found in 2,545 samples. for fentanyl and some fentanyl
analogues. Because fentanyl
typically makes up a small
47% proportion of a sample, it is not
Illicit substances

MDMA usually picked up by spectroscopy.

19% 19%
Cocaine Ketamine 10%
MDA 1%
2Cx

2% 2% 2%
Cuttings

Carbohydrates Caffeine Phenacetin

Results from fentanyl test strips


2,410 samples were tested for fentanyl using immunoassay strips.

0 Fentanyl detected on-site


.
Sample detected through confirmatory testing 1
How did participants respond to the results?
Participant were asked if they were surprised by the results and what their intentions
were with the sample.

What are you going to do with the sample?

Yes
51% 17% 8% 2%
25%
Take as Dispose of Use with a
Take less
intended sample friend

No
82% 7% 2% 2%
72%

A higher proportion of
these was among
participants who were
95% surprised by their
Of participants were results (6% vs. 2%)
satisfied with drug
checking services… 1%
…were not

Thank you
To all our participants
And to the volunteers for all your hard work in providing
these services