Is drug checking a valuable tool to reduce the harm of drug use? In many countries this is still an ongoing debate, one often hampered by lack of empirical evidence and practical experience. In the Netherlands, government-licensed drug checking has occured for over the past two decades and has grown from a small scale project into a nationwide scientific monitor.
As one of the world’s oldest drug checking services, the ‘Drugs Information and Monitoring System’ (DIMS) can provide advice and insight from lessons learned on how to set up and operate a drug checking service to all international collaborators, many of whom are taking their first steps in providing national drug checking programs.
This factsheet offers an overview of the history, organisation, common practice and strategies for warning campaigns of DIMS, and aims to serve as an objective insight into the ins and outs of drug checking as being executed in the Netherlands. While political and public opinion on the subject differs from country to country, sharing information will have its value for public health for certain.