The aim of the special issue of Drugs, Habits and Social Policy (Volume 23 Issue 3) is twofold. On the one hand, it capitalises on the momentum generated by the growing scientific and political interest in drug checking to present some of the latest insights and models of drug checking to a diverse audience of academics, policymakers and professionals. On the other hand, it explores some of the limitations of the scientific literature to date, which has tended to focus on micro-level variables (e.g. evaluations of technologies or individual behavioural change), to the neglect of variables located at the meso-level (including impact at community or event level), or macro-level analyses (such as the effects of drug checking on international drug markets or public health indicators such as national mortality and morbidity). Additionally, to date, the vast majority of studies on drug checking have been carried out in the Western European context and therefore additional efforts were made by the guest editorial team to directly support submissions to this special issue from other parts of the world such as Latin America, Eastern Europe and Oceania.