"The Global Commission on Drug Policy recently advised governments to make harm reduction measures, including drug checking services, widely accessible (Bewley-Taylor & Tinasti, 2020; Buxton et al., 2020). Although there have been calls for drug checking in Australia for some time (Ritter, 2020), initially there were only two Australian trials of drug checking, both performed in a festival context (Byrne et al., 2018; Olsen et al., 2019). This comprised a fixed site trial service launched in Canberra in 2022, which has been extended and is expected to become a permanent service (Olsen et al., 2022). In February 2023, the government of Queensland (the second largest and third most populous state in Australia) announced support for the introduction of drug checking services (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2023). The recent recommendation to make drug checking services widely accessible aligns with the harm reduction approach, which recognises the social context and influences surrounding substance use (Bewley-Taylor & Tinasti, 2020; Buxton et al., 2020). The support for introducing drug checking services by the government of Queensland reflects a step towards implementing population-level interventions aimed at reducing drug-related harms and addressing health inequalities. While previous studies surrounding these services have focused on populations such as the nightlife/festival attendees, particularly ecstasy consumers, there is still a gap in research regarding the perspectives and experiences of those involved in the consumption of performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs) such as anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS). Therefore, in the context of the Queensland government's commitment to supporting such services, this study specifically aimed to explore AAS consumers attitudes, perceptions, and needs regarding drug checking. Doing so aligns service provision with broader goal of enhancing health outcomes for this population given the high representation of AAS consumption in Queensland, accounted for by the overrepresentation of AAS-related arrests compared to other states and territories (Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, 2021)."
Piatkowski T, Puljevic C, Francis C, Ferris J, Dunn M. "They sent it away for testing and it was all bunk": Exploring perspectives on drug checking among steroid consumers in Queensland, Australia. Int J Drug Policy. 2023 Jul 21;119:104139. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2023.104139. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37481876.