Pill testing

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Pill Testing is a process used to identify substances contained within a pill, usually illicit substances.

Since illicit drugs like MDMA are bought from drug dealers on the black market, both the source and contents of the substance are unknown. Pills sold by dealers as Ecstasy, may not contain the desired substance, usually being MDMA. Testing the pill can show if substances, such as MDMA, are present.

Reagent Testing Kits

A test is done by taking a small scraping from a pill and placing it in the reagent testing liquid. The liquid will change colour when reacting with different chemicals to indicate the presence of certain substances.

Testing with a reagent kit does not indicate the pill is safe. While the testing process does show some particular substances are present, it may not show a harmful substance unaccounted for by the testing process.

EZ Test Reactions for Substances Present
Substance Mandelin Marquis Mecke Simon's Robadope's
MDMA dark purple dark purple dark purple blue no reaction
MDEA dark purple dark purple dark purple blue no reaction
MDA dark purple dark purple dark purple no reaction red
Methamphetamine (dark) green orange/brown no reaction blue no reaction
Amphetamine (dark) green orange/brown no reaction no reaction red
PMA green to brown no reaction no reaction no reaction red
Ketamine orange/brown no reaction no reaction no reaction no reaction
2C-B no reaction green no reaction no reaction red
2C-I no reaction green no reaction no reaction red
DXM no reaction grey with smoke yellow no reaction no reaction
Opiates no reaction pink/red/purple green no reaction no reaction
2C-T-xx no reaction no reaction yellow to purple no reaction no reaction

The EZ Test kits, Mandelin[1], Marquis[2], Mecke[3], Simon's and Robadope's[4] are commercially available reagent testing kits. The EZ Test table is a general guideline of the reactions from each substance and testing kit instructions may indicate different results. Reactions may show different colours if more than one substance is present.

Online testing kits are used by individuals to post reports to the Pill Reports [5] website. At nightclubs and rave events organisations such as Enlighten Harm Reduction in Australia and the Green Party Drugs Group[6] in the UK conduct on-site pill testing.


EcstasyData.org is an independent laboratory pill testing program co-sponsored by Erowid, TranceSafe, Dancesafe, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), & the Promind Foundation. Testing is done using a Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) method, which can identify much more substances than a reagent test. Substances identified are listed on their website.


Pill testing is controversial because it can give the user the false impression that a pill is safe. The act of pill testing is illegal in many countries because it requires the tester to come into contact with the illicit substance and who can then be charged with possession of an illicit substance.

External links