After the start of free drug tests for adults in Berlin, representatives of paediatricians are in favor of an expansion. "As an association, we welcome the fact that drugs can be tested safely in Berlin at the moment and would support a nationwide expansion," said Jakob Maske, spokesman for the professional association of paediatricians, the newspaper "Welt".
"Toxic substance detection has the potential to persuade youth to stay off drugs completely and provides an added reassurance."
Adults can give samples of their drug purchases to three advice centers in Berlin, before which there is a consultation. A laboratory examines the components, and the results should be available after three days to a maximum of one week. The offer is only for adults.
Children and young people are not allowed to use it, nor are professional salespeople, according to the website "drugcheckig.berlin". The aim is to achieve “addiction prevention” and “minimise harm from drug use”. Consumers should be warned about "particularly harmful preparations", impurities and high doses and reduce their risks when consuming.
"The best drug use is no drug use at all"
Burkhard Rodeck, Secretary General of the German Society for Child and Adolescent Medicine, also commented positively in the "Welt": "We welcome the Berlin drug checking project, it enables consumers to check the safety of the drug product they have already bought - the health risks remain." It is particularly important to offer counseling sessions and consultation hours.
A spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Health told the "Welt": "The BMG expressly welcomes the avoidance of health hazards from drug contamination. However, it is important to communicate at the same time that this does not make drug use harmless. The best drug use is no drug use at all We are currently discussing how the Berlin project can also set a precedent nationwide. We don't want to anticipate these consultations."
However, the police union (GdP) in Berlin criticized the agreement that there will be no criminal prosecution at the counseling and testing centers, although it is known that people are out there who possess prohibited drugs and have them with them. "However, our colleagues are subject to the principle of legality and cannot wave someone through with drugs or look away because it may be claimed that you are on the way to the drug check," said GdP spokesman Benjamin Jendro of "Welt". He also pointed out that dealers in the immediate vicinity of these locations would increase their trading.