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Motivations for new psychoactive substance use among regular psychostimulant users in Australia

Citation

Sutherland, R and Bruno, R and Peacock, A and Lenton, S and Matthews, A and Salom, C and Dietze, P and Butler, K and Burns, L and Barratt, MJ, Motivations for new psychoactive substance use among regular psychostimulant users in Australia, International Journal of Drug Policy, 43 pp. 23-32. ISSN 0955-3959 (2017) [Refereed Article]


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DOI: doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2016.12.021

Abstract

Background: Examine the motivations for new psychoactive substance (NPS) use amongst a sample of regular psychostimulant users (RPU) in Australia, and determine whether motivations differ across substances.

Method: Data were obtained from 419 RPU interviewed for the 2014 Ecstasy and related Drugs Reporting System who reported lifetime NPS use. Based on the most recent NPS used, motivations for use were rated on an 11-point scale (0 ‘no influence’–10 ‘maximum influence’).

Results: For NPS overall, value for money was found to be the most highly endorsed motivation for use, scoring a median of five out of ten. However, there was substantial variation in motivations for use across substance types. Availability (i.e. no other drug was available to me at the time; 6/10) was the most highly endorsed motivation for the use of synthetic cathinones, which was significantly higher than reported for DMT. Perceived legality and availability were the most highly endorsed motivations for synthetic cannabinoids (5/10); perceived legality scored higher for synthetic cannabinoids than for all the other NPS, whilstin regards to availability synthetic cannabinoids scored significantly higher than DMTonly. Value for money was the most highly endorsed motivation for NBOMe (8/10) and 2C-family substances (5/10); in regards to NBOMe this scored significantly higher than all other NPS. Short effect duration was the most highly endorsed motivation for DMT (7/10), which was significantly higher than for all other NPS.

Conclusion: Synthetic cathinones and cannabinoids appear to be largely motivated by ‘opportunistic’ reasons (i.e. availability, legality), while NBOMe, 2C-family substances and DMT appear to be motivated by particular desirable qualities of a substance (i.e. value for money, short effect duration). Providing a nuanced understanding of why individuals use particular NPS improves our ability to understand the NPS phenomenon and to tailor harm reduction messages to the appropriate target groups.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:new psychoactive substance use
Research Division:Medical and Health Sciences
Research Group:Public Health and Health Services
Research Field:Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health)
Objective Field:Substance Abuse
Author:Bruno, R (Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno)
Author:Peacock, A (Miss Amy Peacock)
Author:Matthews, A (Dr Allison Matthews)
ID Code:119278
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2017-07-28
Last Modified:2017-08-16
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