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New England Community
Drug Checking Innovations Network
(Network 1) 

IMG_6080.HEIC

New technologies related to drug detection and drug supply monitoring are emerging. These
products are typically developed in labs, often tested by marketing teams and rarely subjected
to “real-world” samples for validity and feasibility testing, let alone handled or reviewed by
people who use drugs and programs supporting their health and wellness. Because the New England Region has developed a strong network of community drug checking programs through statewide initiatives, community supports, and foundation seed funding, cutting-edge harm reduction science and practice are underway and growing. In this project, we collaborate with this network of sites, united by a common data collection platform, trained similarly and already gathering regularly in learning collaboratives, to serve as training grounds for testing out drug-related innovations, tools, and technologies.

Across 4 New England states (MA, RI, CT, VT), we invite community drug checking sites using StreetCheck, that host on-site Bruker FTIR, test strip and related technologies to be part of the study protocol. The structure of Network 1 functions much like a clinical trials network, with a common
protocol, site leads, and financial and material supports to the site “nodes” to implement and
operationalize the protocol. Sites will have input into the protocol and process so that it is
collectively decided upon, with shared decision-making.

Motivating Project: BTNX XTS Pilot Study

  • 10 Community Partners across New England 

  • Asking sites if they have the capacity to participate and paying sites/technicians for their time ad providing necessary TA and materials to participate

 

First Project: OPUS 9.0 Beta

  • 10 technician received access to the Beta version of OPUS 9.0 to help gather feedback on the newest version of OPUS and improve utility for FTIR drug checking technicians

Second Project: Multi-Lab Analysis Study

  • 10 samples were sent to 10 labs providing drug checking secondary testing (approx. 10 mg each) across the U.S. The labs will compare results across different testing methodologies to have more uniform testing results for participants and programs

Future Project Ideas: 

  • We are taking suggestions! 

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