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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 has 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.

 

Problem 

Beyond the expected risks, illicit drugs often are often cut with undisclosed and potentially life threatening substances. 

Beyond the expected risks, illicit drugs often are often cut with undisclosed and potentially life-threatening substances. 

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Current Effrorts 

Test strips 

Test strips 

Filling The Gap 

Beyond the expected risks, illicit drugs often are often cut with undisclosed and potentially life threatening substances. 

Beyond the expected risks, illicit drugs often are often cut with undisclosed and potentially life threatening substances. 

User Group

Beyond the expected risks, illicit drugs often are often cut with undisclosed and potentially life-threatening substances. 

Beyond the expected risks, illicit drugs often are often cut with undisclosed and potentially life threatening substances. 

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

Current Testing Methods 

Participants tested a fentanyl test strip and spoke about the challenges

with the instructions and process.  

4 participants 

Test strip and required tools. 

view the instructions 

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

Summary 

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Beyond the expected risks, illicit drugs often are often cut with undisclosed and potentially life threatening substances. 

Beyond the expected risks, illicit drugs often are often cut with undisclosed and potentially life threatening substances. 

"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. 

Current User Journey 

Mapping Current System 

Ecosystem map - concept map 

Technology 

Electric nose technology is on the rise. Recent applications such as the Netherlands EN covid test are a glimmer at the future application of this technology. 

Understanding Behavior 

In clubs, The majority of trips to the restroom are drug-related, according to a study done in the Netherlands.   

 

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. 

view early sketches 

Digital Mock-Ups