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A new approach to illicit drug testing harm reduction efforts. 

Thesis Project       20 Weeks             

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Illicit drug usage in the U.S. has steadily been on the rise in the past twenty years – and so have drug-related overdoses and deaths. In 2020 overdoses cause the loss of over 81,000 lives and cost the U.S. healthcare system $11 billion.

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How might we not just provide testing to an underrepresented user group, but make it more accessible, reliable, and simple? 

 

LOOP is a  publicly funded harm reduction station in restrooms of clubs, bars, and indoor music venues that allow users to test their illicit substances – reducing drug-related injuries, overdoses, and deaths.

Current Testing Methods 

Participants tested a fentanyl test strip and spoke about the challenges
with the instructions and process.  

4 participants 

Feedback and Pain Points 

"It is good to know this is out there, but because of the time investment and how inconvenient it is, it's just not practical"
(user #1*)  

"The instructions are so confusing, how am I suppose to know these measurements?"
(user #2*)  

"I got a false positive on aspirin, that is concerning"
(user #3*)  

*participants are actual drug users who asked to have their identity kept anonymous. 

4 participants 

Test strip and required tools. 

view the instructions 

Inspiration 

trustworthy - authoritative - welcoming - integrate 

Prototyping and User Testing 

Loop is designed to fit into current behaviors. Bathroom placement also allows for this publicly accessible device, to be accessed in a more private area of venues.