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Nightclubs in the UK are now offering free drug-testing

Preston clubs will give patrons an anonymous, totally legal service to test substances like MDMA and cocaine

Nightclubs in Preston, Lancashire, will offer free drug-testing to patrons looking to test substances.

According to The Independent, walk-in booths will be in place in Preston’s city centre clubs as of early next year on Friday and Saturday nights. The initiative is run by the Loop, and backed by local police. As reported by the Sunday Times, drugs will not be handled directly by volunteers, and small samples of substances, like MDMA and cocaine, will be destroyed afterwards to keep everything legal.

Clubbers making use of the scheme won’t have to give names or fear police intervention, as “supportive” authorities have promised not to target those witnessed using booths. The “pragmatic” resource will use laser equipment to determine a substance’s content quickly, usually within minutes.

The Warehouse Project and Secret Garden Party festival have previously run similar initiatives, aimed at curbing unnecessary drug deaths.

Professor of criminology at Durham University and co-director of the Loop Fiona Measham told The Independent: “It’s a very new service and some people might see it as quite radical, but it’s focusing on harm reduction.”

The National Police Chiefs’ Council has, according to reports, called the service useful, although no move towards implementing the service nationally has been endorsed.  

Recent studies by The British Medical Journal saw a group of UK doctors claim that the War on Drugs has failed, instead calling for legislation that brings in drug legalisation to deal with deaths, addiction, crime and violence.