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Testing for XTC

Abstract: Yes, there are tests for XTC.

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Testing for XTC

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Written by: Wendy Moelker, Psychologist in charge, tutor, Emergis center for mental health care, Goes, the Netherlands.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 22 Jul 2008.

Can XTC be tested? Describe testing for XTC.


There are three ways to test XTC:

1. Laboratory tests

Hand over the XTC pill at a test service and they will send it to a national laboratory to be examined. About a week later you will receive the results, which will tell you what the active substance is and how much of the active substance was found in your pill. So you will know if there is MDMA (= the active substance) in your pill and how much. If the pill contains any other active substances they will also be determined. The pill is lost with this test.

2. Quick tests

This test, performed at a test service office, works by scraping a small quantity of powder off the side of a pill. A small drop of liquid is then dripped onto the powder scrapings and may cause a certain discoloration. Based on external characteristics of the pill (color, logo, shape and discoloration) it is possible to determine the kind of pill by means of a recognition list that is made on the basis of pills tested in the laboratory. Sometimes a new pill on the market is not mentioned on the list. In that case you are asked to send the pill to the laboratory.

3. The EZ-test

The EZ-test or self-test is for sale at smart shops. Scrape a small quantity of powder off the side of a pill and drip a small drop of liquid onto the powder scrapings. The manual describes how to do this and tells you the meaning of the discoloration. The problem is that you don't know how many milligrams of active substance is in the pill, and you can't find out if there are any other possible damaging substances in the pill. This test is only recommended in case of emergency, for instance, if there is no testing service available.

Please find the addresses of the testing offices by calling the drug information line (In the Netherlands, 0900 1995) for other addresses where you can hand over your pills (delivery addresses). They cannot do quick tests there, but they will send the pills to a laboratory.

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