Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, applauds the forthcoming launch of the UK’s first regular drug checking service in Bristol this month. Spearheaded by leading harm reduction charity The Loop, in partnership with Bristol City Council and Bristol Drugs Project, this pioneering service combines personalised health advice with drug testing and marks an important step forward for the UK.
Supported by funding from Bristol City Council and operated by The Loop’s team of professional chemists and health professionals, this collaborative initiative aims to minimise harm related to drug use, promote safer consumption, and inform stakeholders, including law enforcement and health services, to enhance harm reduction strategies.
According to Professor Fiona Measham, Founder and Chair of Trustees of The Loop and Chair in Criminology at the University of Liverpool, the launch of the UK’s first regular drug checking service is a “landmark moment for harm reduction.” After years of meticulous planning, evaluations, and negotiations, this service will provide invaluable support in tackling the risks associated with the adulteration of the illegal drug market.
The introduction of this new drug testing service aligns with the vision outlined in the Bristol Drug and Alcohol strategy. Councillor Ellie King, Cabinet Lead for Public Health and Communities, expressed her pride in Bristol being the first city in the UK to offer a regular drug checking service. Highlighting the potential to save lives and provide evidence-based information to the community, Councillor King underscored the city’s commitment to placing the wellbeing of its residents at the forefront of its decision-making process.
Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, emphasises the significance of this development as a critical first step towards the establishment of a comprehensive harm reduction strategy. He hopes that the launch of this service will prompt the government to direct more attention towards updating the Misuse of Drugs Act, which is in dire need of reform.
Kill states, “The introduction of the UK’s first regular drug checking service in Bristol is a momentous achievement in harm reduction. This service will not only reduce the potential harm associated with drug use but also provide valuable insights into local drug markets. We encourage the government to use this initiative as a springboard to develop a comprehensive harm reduction strategy and reform the outdated Misuse of Drugs Act. It is imperative that we prioritise the health and safety of our citizens and empower them to make informed choices.”
He concludes, “We congratulate The Loop, Bristol City Council, Bristol Drugs Project, and all stakeholders involved in making this groundbreaking service a reality. We look forward to supporting similar initiatives in other cities across the UK.”
Press Statement The Loop