1. ITV Report

Home Office gives green light to first drug testing clinic in Weston-super-Mare

The clinic, in Weston-super-Mare, is run by charity Addaction. Credit: ITV News West Country

A clinic which allows users to have their illegal drugs tested without fear of being arrested has opened in Somerset.

The project, which has opened in Weston-super-Mare, allows anyone over the age of 18 to take their drugs to the clinic, run by charity Addaction.

Testing the drugs takes about 10 minutes, during which time users are asked to complete a short questionnaire about harm reduction advice.

Substances being tested at the clinic. Credit: ITV News West Country

The clinic, the first of its type in the UK, has an agreement in place with the police whereby users will not be arrested or prosecuted for bringing their drugs to be tested.

Well, we know drug-related deaths are at an all-time high and we’re hoping that this might be another way in which we can get more people to access the help and support that they need.

I think we need to be really clear that we are not condoning the use of drugs here and we are not saying it’s safe to use substances but we know it goes on, so we’re not burying our heads in the sand and we’re making sure that we’re able to help make things safer for people.

– Roz Gittins, Addaction Director of Pharmacy