The Emperor’s New Clothes?

mercoledì, 20 Luglio 2016

Findings from the Rapid Assessment and Response Study of Consumption of New Psychoactive Substances among People Who Use Drugs Heavily in Five EU Member States


BACKGROUND: The EC-DPIP project contributes to innovative and effective health promotion interventions targeting the emerging use of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) among people who use drugs heavily (PUDH). In five countries, we conducted a rapid assessment and response (RAR) study of NPS use, aimed at informing these emerging interventions. AIMS: To identify and document the emergent use of NPS among PUDH in five EU member states and map the developing response in these countries. METHODS: Desk review of the National NPS situation, an Internet Snapshot of NPS availability in offline and online drug markets, and focus groups with key stakeholders. RESULTS: Smart shops boosted the popularity of NPS, but after legislative action most were closed or severely restricted their assortment. A variety of NPS are available via websites and traditional drug-dealing structures. The injecting of mephedrone, MDPV, or other synthetic stimulants among PUDH is reported in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Romania, to varying degrees. In Portugal and Greece, NPS are less prevalent among PUDH. Greek PUDH have turned to smoking methamphetamine. CONCLUSIONS: Synthetic stimulants are increasingly diffusing into PUDH populations. Emerging drug trends are increasingly unpredictable, subject to (offline/online) availability, legal status/action, local preferences, access to traditional substances and a range of environmental variables.

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