Do Novel Psychoactive Substances Displace Established Club Drugs, Supplement Them or Act as Drugs of Initiation? The relationship between Mephedrone, Ecstasy and CocaineMoore K. · Dargan P.I. · Wood D.M. · Measham F.
aDepartment of Applied Social Science, Lancaster University, Lancaster, b Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, King's Health Partners and King's College London, London, and cSchool of Applied Social Sciences, Durham University, Durham, UK
Background/Aims: To assess whether novel psychoactive substances (NPS) displace established club drugs, supplement them or act as drugs of initiation via a study of the relationship between mephedrone, ecstasy pills, cocaine and MDMA powder amongst club-goers considered to be ‘early adopters' of psychostimulant/club drug trends. Methods: In situ surveys were conducted with 308 customers in two south London gay dance clubs across 3 weekend nights in July 2010 to assess the prevalence and patterns of self-reported use of a range of illegal drugs and NPS. Results: Mephedrone was added to existing drug repertoires amongst those surveyed and acted to supplement more established club drugs including ecstasy pills, cocaine and MDMA powder, rather than replacing or displacing those drugs. Conclusion: This survey suggests that NPS are likely to be added to drug repertoires, particularly amongst experienced users with consequent health risks for individuals and resource implications for services. This study points to a complex relationship between NPS and illegal drug availability, purity and regulatory control, one which is increasingly important to understand given the global emergence of NPS and the challenges they present to existing supply, demand and harm reduction strategies.
Dr. Karenza Moore
Department of Applied Social Science
LA1 4YN (UK)
Received: August 9, 2012
Accepted: December 20, 2012
Published online: April 22, 2013
Number of Print Pages : 7
Number of Figures : 0, Number of Tables : 5, Number of References : 41
European Addiction Research
Vol. 19, No. 5, Year 2013 (Cover Date: September 2013)
Journal Editor: van den Brink W. (Amsterdam), Kiefer F. (Mannheim)
ISSN: 1022-6877 (Print), eISSN: 1421-9891 (Online)
For additional information: http://www.karger.com/EAR