Frequently Asked Questions
Community Drug checking is a process that allows people to submit drug samples for chemical analysis of what substances are in their drugs. Knowing what substances are present allows people who use drugs to make educated decisions about their drug use and how to reduce related harms. For more information, check out Community Drug Checking.
Harm reduction agencies provide drug checking services in many countries around the world. For a list of organizations that may provide services near you, check out this list of drug checking agencies on the How to submit a sample page.
The legality of different methods of drug checking varies by country and state. For information on laws related to drug checking in your state, check out this legal analysis of drug checking equipment. Another helpful resource is DanceSafe’s state-by-state guide.
Submitting a sample will include providing a small amount of a drug or leftover residue, along with some information. In Massachusetts the process is free, although other organizations may charge fee. For more details on how to submit a sample, including sample criteria and where to bring it, check out the How to submit a sample page.
Initial results may be provided to you within 30 minutes of submitting a sample. Different organizations have different capacities for drug checking and providing results. It may take up to a few days or weeks to receive results, and comprehensive results may take 2-3 weeks after the sample is received. If using Streetcheck, a unique QR or alphanumeric identification code is provided for each sample. Notification when results are ready will be sent to the email address or phone number provided when submitting the sample. You can also use the same code to look up results on Streetcheck. Visit the How to Submit a sample page for more information.
Yes. When you submit your sample, some details such as where it was bought, what it was sold as, and use experience will be collected. However, personal information will not be collected, and the identification or QR code you receive will be the only connection between you and the sample.
Contact us at email@example.com so that we can work with you for responsive testing. Please be advised: ours is a public health and harm reduction service, though, not a diagnostic, clinical, or forensic testing service.
Results from StreetCheck are reported to the public, as well as to public health agencies and organizations. They are combined across programs, towns, and regions to identify trends in drug use and in drug makeup for harm reduction planning in public health and public policy actions. Results are regularly analyzed and shared with the community and at StreetCheck to raise awareness of these trends at the town, region, and state levels.
When samples are sent for additional laboratory testing to DrugsData, some information about the makeup of the sample is available to the public. However, any individual or potentially identifying information provided to StreetCheck remains private. You will be able to see details of any sample that you submit by using the QR or identification code associated with your sample(s). The partner organization you submitted your sample(s) through will also be able to see details of your sample, but as no identifying information is collected, they will not be able to trace the information back to you unless you opt for this to happen. To generate trends, data are combined and reported with everyone else’s for the public to see.
Programs may use different instruments. The MADDS Project uses fentanyl and benzodiazepine test strips, pH test strips, and FTIR for preliminary testing. If your sample is sent away, it will also be tested by GC/MS for more comprehensive results. For more information on the kinds of instruments used in drug checking, see the Drug Checking page, this article, or DrugsData.
Traci - Dr. Green is an epidemiologist whose research focuses on drug use, opioid use disorder, and drug-related injury.
She's Professor and Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at Brandeis. She helped design the ASI-MV®, a real-time illicit and prescription drug use surveillance system developed by Inflexxion, Inc. Prior to joining Brandeis, she served as Deputy Director of the Boston Medical Center Injury Prevention Center, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Community Health Sciences at the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University where she co-directs the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE)
on Opioids and Overdose at Rhode Island Hospital. Dr. Green helped co-found www.prescribetoprevent.org for prescribers
and pharmacists and its companion site www.prevent-protect.org for families, patients, and community organizations.
She serves as an advisor to the Rhode Island Governor on addiction and overdose, and consults for the Center for Disease
Control and Prevention and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas on public health and public safety opportunities. She
served on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and two recent National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committees pertaining to opioid pain management, regulatory strategies to address opioids, and medications for opioid use disorder. Her research is supported by the CDC, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research
Institute, the Bloomberg American Health Initiative, and the Department of Justice.
Becca - Rebecca (Becca) Olson, MPH, is a Research Project Manager at the Opioid Policy Research
Collaborative. Becca earned a master’s degree in public health from Boston University, with a focus on epidemiology and
global health. She has undergraduate degrees from the University of Connecticut in Spanish and nutritional sciences. Prior
to her position at Heller, she was a project coordinator for a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
contract titled “Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS).” She has a
background in mental health and substance use recovery, including collegiate recovery. In her free time, Becca enjoys
reading and traveling.
Cole - Cole Jarczyk, BA, is a Research Associate at the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative and the Lead Chemist for StreetCheck. Cole earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Economics from Colgate University. Prior to his position at Heller, he studied and synthesized novel ester hydrogenation catalysts with... Dr. Anthony Chianese. His expertise is primarily in analytic,
inorganic, and organic chemistry. In his free time, Cole enjoys hiking with his dog and cooking.
Staci – Annastacia (Staci) Sullivan, BS, is a Research Analyst at the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative.
Staci earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: Investigative Services with a minor in Mathematics from the
University of New Haven. Prior to her position at Heller, Staci worked for a consumer reporting agency as a data analyst
and investigator. In her free time, she enjoys singing, creating jewelry and art dolls, hiking, and caring for her fur babies.
Brandon – Brandon del Pozo served 19 years in the NYPD and four as the chief of police of Burlington, Vermont. While at
the NYPD, he commanded the 6th and 50th Precincts, as well as units in Internal Affairs, project management, and
strategic initiatives, and served on the staff of the police commissioner and chief of department. From 2005 to 2007, he was deployed as the NYPD’s intelligence liaison to the Arab Middle East and India, based out of Jordan’s capital city of Amman.
In Burlington, his work included leading the city's response to the opioid overdose crisis, and helping develop and drive
national innovations in the use of force. His present research interests include systems-level responses to the nation's
overdose crisis, especially through the use of agonist medications, and the intersection between policing and public health.
Rachel – Rachel Wightman, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Alpert Medical School of
Brown University. She is triple board-certified in medical toxicology, emergency medicine, and addiction medicine.
She serves as the Director of Medical Toxicology Education for Brown Emergency Medicine and also as faculty in the
addiction medicine fellowship at Rhode Island Hospital. Her research interests are emerging drug use patterns, evaluation
of toxicology testing results, and medication management of opioid use disorder. She co-founded the Rhode Island Buprenorphine Hotline, a statewide telehealth low-threshold buprenorphine treatment access line in partnership with
RIDOH funded by SAMSHA. She is an invited member of the Rhode Island Review of Overdose Accidental Deaths (ROAD) committee.
Who else is involved in StreetCheck?
The following are harm reduction advisors who have been involved in StreetCheck:
Kristin Doneski of Maine Access Points
Mary Wheeler of Healthy Streets
Kim Powers of ACCESS Hope
Allyson Pinkhover of Brockton Neighborhood Health Center
Sarah Mackin of AHOPE
Don Jackson of Greensboro Exchange
Louise Vincent of North Carolina Survivors Union
These are some research partners who have also supported StreetCheck and the MADDS project:
Nabarun Dasgupta of UNC Chapel Hill – Dr. Nabarun Dasgupta is a scientist who studies drugs and infectious diseases.
His passion is telling true stories about health, with numbers. Centered in epidemiology, his multidisciplinary approach
draws on field research, large database analytics, laboratory investigations, randomized trials, and community-based
interventions. Through his work he aims to amplify community and patient voices in public health. His scientific interests
encompass two themes. Since 2002 he has done pioneering work in pain management, opioid overdose prevention, and
addiction treatment. Second, he has deep expertise in infectious disease surveillance, including visual design of dashboards.
Mary Figgatt of UNC Chapel Hill – Mary is a doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology. She received her MPH in Epidemiology from Drexel University. After receiving her MPH, Mary completed the CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology
Fellowship at New York State Department of Health. Prior to beginning her doctoral training, she was an epidemiologist at
the Philadelphia Department of Public Health where she implemented the city’s drug overdose fatality review program
and led several other epidemiological projects. Her research interests include substance use, infectious diseases, and the importance of harm reduction and policy on improving health outcomes.
Marya Lieberman of Notre Dame University – Dr. Lieberman develops analytical methods for use in low-resource settings, using paper millifluidic devices to carry out operations that are normally done in a laboratory setting. She has many collaborators in
Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Bangladesh, and other low- and middle-income countries, where the impact of simple analytical procedures on the quality of cancer care can be high. For example, a test card was created to rapidly screen the quality of chemotherapy products at the point of use; while testing this device at the main cancer clinic of the Tikur Anbessa
Specialized Hospital in Addis Ababa, three batches of falsified cisplatin were uncovered. Dr. Lieberman is interested in collaborating with others who want to answer analytical questions without access to analytical lab instrumentation.
She leads the Point-of-Use Platforms theme area for the Institute for Precision Health and her work was recognized in 2020
with the Reinhold Niebuhr award for social justice.
How is StreetCheck funded?
StreetCheck is funded by grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention and the state of Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of
Substance Addiction Services is the state grant recipient.
My question did not appear in this list. Whom can I contact for further information?
Please visit our Contact Us page to complete a contact form or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.