An inventory of changing drug consumption patterns, shifting drug markets and lagging policy responses
JANIKOVA, B. , FIDESOVA, H., VAVRINCIKOVA, L. , MIOVSKY, M. , GRUND, J-P. C.
BACKGROUND: An increasing number of new psychoactive substances (NPS) in seizures and their usage in various populations and, in some countries, heavily in the population of high-risk (including injecting) users is a general trend in Europe. It logically leads to the objective of finding out what the specific situation related to NPS in the context of the subpopulation of high-risk users is. DESIGN AND MEASUREMENTS: Desk review research was conducted and focused on NPS use/prevalence in populations of People Who Use Drugs Heavily (PUDH). The occurrence of NPS in PUDH, a comparison of the prices of NPS with those of traditional drugs, risk assessment on the national level and interventions to tackle NPS use in PUDH were studied from national research reports. SAMPLE: Desk review reports were collected from 22 countries, 21 from the EU plus Switzerland. RESULTS: 11 countries reported NPS use in PUDH, mainly on a local level; the injecting of NPS was reported from seven countries. Significant groups of NPS among PUDH are cathinones and cannabinoids. Specific interventions responding to NPS use in PUDH were identified in Spain, Finland, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The interventions are focused on substance identification and harm reduction responses, providing information and on the prevention of violence. CONCLUSIONS: There is a lack of data about NPS use in PUDH; attention should be paid to a potential increase in NPS use, especially the injecting of NPS by PUDH.
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