In this newsletter we disseminate the results of Czech studies about “New Syntethic Drugs” (NSD). In Czech Republic new substances seem to be mostly used among Problem Drug Users (PDUs) and dance partygoers. The NSD mainly used are synthetic cathinones but the Czech researchers noticed that users prefer traditional drugs. Many people take NPS without being aware of it: drug checking should be more available and spread.
The online availability of NSD to Czech citizens is increasing since 2010; young people go online to share trip report and discuss their experience with the NPS; in online forums people give each other harm reduction advices and the peer counseling is an important component of the discussions analyzed.
Drápalová and her colleagues present the outcomes of a literature review on the utility of existing risk assessment procedures; the Local PASS Project produced a toolkit that allows stakeholders in drug policy to identify and assess new local trends in alcohol and drugs consumptions.
The Use of New Synthetic Drugs among Problem Drug Users
BÌLÁÈKOVÁ, V., JANÍKOVÁ, B., TOMKOVÁ, A., VACEK, J., ZÁBRANSKÝ, T., MRAVÈÍK, V., CSÉMY, L.
After the closure of smart shops (also referred to as “Amsterdam shops”) in the Czech Republic in 2011, new synthetic drugs (NSDs) spread within specific groups of drug users in the country, problem drug users (PDUs) being one of them.
NSDs became well established among the group of PDUs, usually as one of many substances used. Information exchange between PDUs and the EWS should be a priority for public health-oriented policies.
Online Sales of New Synthetic Drugs in the Czech Republic in 2015
GROHMANNOVÁ, K., KMETONYOVÁ, D., ŠTEFUNKOVÁ, M., BÌLÁÈKOVÁ, V., ZÁBRANSKÝ, T., MRAVÈÍK, V.
The use of new synthetic drugs (NSD) in the Czech Republic has been on the rise since 2010. Besides other means of supply, they are available via the internet. In 2015, the fifth wave of a survey focusing on the supply of new synthetic drugs through online shops targeting the Czech population was carried out.
The supply of NSD via the internet has been increasing. The monitoring of the internet is a useful complementary method for drug market monitoring. However, its usability for the Early Warning System used to raise alerts concerning new drugs is limited without detailed analysis of the samples.
Monitoring of Discussion Forums on New Psychoactive Substances in the Czech Republic Content and Trends
DRÁPALOVÁ, E., BÌLÁÈKOVÁ, V.
Given the lack of information about new psychoactive substances (NPS), their effects and risks, analysis of online discussion forums is a useful method to obtain this data.
Discussion forums play a crucial role as a source of information about NPS and are a self-help tool for reducing the potential risks for their users. When made part of a comprehensive monitoring approach, analysis of forum‘s content can yield information for a wide array of experts.
Evaluating potential hazards of new trends in psychoactive substance use
Literature review of “risk assessment” procedures
DRÁPALOVÁ, E., GRUND, J-P. C., BÌLÁÈKOVÁ, V.
In the last decade new trends in the manufacture and retail of new psychoactive substances (NPS) can be observed as a result of the rapid expansion of the Internet and technological developments. Evidence- based drug policy demands an elaborate assessment of the risks that could be caused by the new trends before control measures and other interventions are applied.
The outcomes of risk assessment should include a greater variety of interventions than a suggestion for control (e.g. prevention, treatment, harm reduction measures, or other control instruments than the simple scheduling of the risky NPS).
The Local PASS Toolkit: a local approach towards the reduction of psychoactive substance use
OTTE, R., BÌLÁÈKOVÁ, V., SCHOENMAKERS, A., GRUND, J-P. C.
New drugs, of which the risks are still unknown, are attractive to various groups of people. The identification of local trends is crucial in order to prevent these trends from diffusing beyond a tipping point and becoming problematic at the macro level as well. Local authorities need to know the risks of new trends in the local situation, and how to respond to them.
The Local PASS Toolkit is a set of guidelines, flowcharts, and tools that can be used for the early identification of, and an early response to, newly emerging trends in drug use and abuse in local settings.
- Drug checking, «uno strumento utile anche in Ticino» (Only in Italian)
Rammentando che lo scopo degli interventi nell’ambito delle tossicomanie è di tutelare la salute delle persone che assumono sostanze le cui conseguenze per il consumatore sono imprevedibili o non sempre consapevoli, secondo il Circa l’esame tossicologico delle sostanze costituirebbe un prezioso tassello da incorporare nelle politiche di riduzione dei rischi. «Questi laboratori d’analisi “volanti” presentano il vantaggio di poter essere installati nel cuore dei luoghi d’incontro e delle feste ai quali partecipano i giovani e d’essere equipaggiati non solo per informare sulla composizione dei prodotti, ma anche per trasmettere un messaggio di prevenzione”.
- Drugs, Dissociatives and Displacement: The Festival Drug Report – Part I
Go to a festival this summer, and drugs will never be far away. The two are inextricably linked, as people seek to unwind over hedonistic summer weekends. As the UK festival season gets underway, we asked Professor Fiona Measham to fill us in on this year’s festival drug trends, and what advice she would give to festival goers trying to stay safe this summer.
“The only way that we can know for sure what is circulating at festivals and whether dealers are misselling NPS to users is to conduct forensic testing on site and to match what users think they have bought with what they have actually bought. This is essential for public safety, for emergency services to respond appropriately to incidents, and for targeted harm reduction messages to users”.
- What are new psychoactive substances. EMCDDA
When we talk about new psychoactive substances, or in short NPS, we are referring to narcotic or psychotropic drugs that are not under international control. This means that they are not listed in the United Nations Conventions of 1961 or 71, the international treaties that state which drugs are under control such as cocaine, cannabis, heroin, amphetamine, LSD and methamphetamine. Although NPS are not controlled internationally through the UN conventions, there might be other forms of control.
- New Psychoactive Substances (AKA Legal Highs)
Following rising concerns about the availability and misuse of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), also known as ‘Legal Highs’; WCADA’s Young Persons service (SWITCH) have worked with young people to develop an animation to raise awareness around these substances.
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