Search results

1 – 10 of 466
To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 5 October 2015

Domitilla Vanni

This paper aims to analyse the fundamental principles of the main international conventions against use of drug and to verify if it would be preferable to let European…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyse the fundamental principles of the main international conventions against use of drug and to verify if it would be preferable to let European Member States adopt specific measures according to own needs at a national level.

Design/methodology/approach

The research uses a comparative approach by examining the different national legislations in respect of the discipline of the international conventions for finding analogies and differences between them.

Findings

The research has discovered a wide variation in the criteria for triggering a legislative response and in the penalties for non-compliance. Nevertheless, there seems to be a trend towards countries focusing on penalising supply rather than possession of these substances.

Research limitations/implications

To maintain a common international level in fighting against the use and commerce of drug to enforce the effectiveness of national regulations.

Practical implications

The achievement of a high level of health protection, well-being and social cohesion to prevent and reduce drug use, dependence and drug-related damage to health and society.

Social implications

To ensure a high level of security for the general public by taking action against drug production, cross-border trafficking in drugs and the diversion of chemical precursors used in drug production, as well as by intensifying preventive action against drug-related crime through effective cooperation, embedded in a joint approach.

Originality/value

This is a fast-moving area of law, which continues to evolve for the different new substances being introduced in international drug traffic, so different solutions to the problem can be found by national legislators who need to be coordinated at an international level.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Victoria Leigh

The purpose of this paper is to explore whether there are ways in which the preventive strategies used to tackle volatile substance abuse (VSA) can be usefully applied to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore whether there are ways in which the preventive strategies used to tackle volatile substance abuse (VSA) can be usefully applied to today’s new psychoactive substances (NPS).

Design/methodology/approach

In 2010-2013, with funding from the Big Lottery, Re-Solv, in partnership with St George’s, University of London, and educari, commissioned a re-analysis of both the mortality data relating to VSA and of the legislative and preventative measures taken that may have played a part in the steady downward trend in VSA mortality since. This paper is informed by Re-Solv’s research findings and the papers resulting from it, namely, Ives (2013) and Butland et al. (2013).

Findings

Efforts to reduce the harm from NPS could benefit from a re-examination of preventive approaches to VSA, which have resulted in a downward trend in mortality over the past two decades.

Social implications

There is evidence from past prevention practice which could be relevant and applied to present day concerns about drugs and substances not previously available or used.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to explore how learning from VSA might be applied to NPS and the “legal highs” of today.

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 18 December 2019

Emma Mckenzie and Joel Harvey

New psychoactive substances (NPS) are increasingly being used in secure mental health settings. Within these settings, NPS use presents a range of challenges and staff…

Abstract

Purpose

New psychoactive substances (NPS) are increasingly being used in secure mental health settings. Within these settings, NPS use presents a range of challenges and staff currently lack adequate training to manage these challenges. The purpose of this paper is to explore nursing staffs’ perception of the challenges of working with patients who use NPS and to explore nursing staffs’ perception of their training needs in relation to NPS.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional qualitative design was employed. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight nursing staff from a medium secure unit (MSU).

Findings

A thematic analysis identified three overarching themes: “There Will Always Be Something”, “We Are Doing Our Best” and “If We Know More, We Can Do More”. The findings describe how nursing staff manage NPS use at present, and their perceptions of how training could improve their management of NPS use in the future.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that MSUs require a local policy for managing NPS use. The research implies that staff training programmes should recognise the existing methods staff use to manage NPS use. The findings also suggest that NPS interventions should target the whole peer group and not just the individual using NPS.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the limited literature on NPS. The findings demonstrate the importance of developing evidence-based mechanisms for managing NPS use. Changes to practice are suggested, with the view of developing ways in which staff currently manage NPS use by complementing this with specific training on NPS.

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Oscar D'Agnone

The purpose of this paper is to describe and summarize the recent emergence of NPS onto the drug market. To show the international and national responses, legal and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe and summarize the recent emergence of NPS onto the drug market. To show the international and national responses, legal and guidance. To indicate some of the challenges NPS present to jurisdictions. To indicate some of the challenges NPS present to treatment agencies. To outline what is known about prevalence and effects.

Design/methodology/approach

A narrative account of the substances becoming known and the response made by jurisdictions.

Findings

The use and effects of NPS are slowly becoming known and exchanged between jurisdictions and treatment agencies. The user group appears to differ from the “traditional” substance users groups with which agencies are familiar. The use of the internet is a characteristic of this new market and user group.

Research limitations/implications

New substances are constantly being identified. Previous treatment approaches may not be fully relevant to NPS. The new area of cognition enhancement is being gradually realized.

Practical implications

Treatment agencies need to develop new approaches, both to treat the effects of NPS use and to attract NPS users, who do not identify as “drug users”.

Social implications

A new user group appears to be emerging. Cognition enhancement is a feature of NPS composition and use/attraction.

Originality/value

An attempt to summarize existing understanding of NPS use and marketing and to predict future trends and needs.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Charlie Place, Andy Scally, Laura Gow, Amy Wade, Rob Barrowcliff, Iram Nasim and Miriam Nyamuchiwa

Novel psychoactive substances (NPS) – often known as “legal highs” – are a varied group of substances that are causing concern due to their possible effects on mental…

Abstract

Purpose

Novel psychoactive substances (NPS) – often known as “legal highs” – are a varied group of substances that are causing concern due to their possible effects on mental health. Particular concerns have been raised about synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists often known as “Spice”. The purpose of this paper is to identify the prevalence of NPS use and explore any association with acute psychological disturbance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors reviewed the case notes for 153 admissions to a male acute inpatient ward. Prevalence of reported NPS use and admissions to psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) were recorded.

Findings

In total, 18.9 per cent of individuals admitted to acute inpatient care were reported to have used NPS. NPS users were almost ten times as likely as their non-NPS using peers to require care in PICU. This result was statistically significant (Fisher exact test: p<0.001). Although caution is required given the limitations of this study, the data and clinical experience suggest that synthetic cannabinoids may be the specific type of NPS that is being used by this group.

Practical implications

Mental health professionals can expect to care for people using NPS in acute inpatient environments, and so they need to understand the nature and effects of these substances. It is possible that NPS use may be associated with sustained acute psychological disturbance.

Originality/value

There have been few studies on the prevalence of NPS use in inpatient environments and none of them have published that explore the association with PICU admission. Despite the limitations of this study, it has significant value by identifying an urgent need for comprehensive research in this area.

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 18 October 2018

Sara Rolando and Franca Beccaria

The purpose of this paper is to analyse dynamics amongst members to better understand in what terms and to what extent marketplace forums can be seen as new forms of harm…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse dynamics amongst members to better understand in what terms and to what extent marketplace forums can be seen as new forms of harm reduction.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a qualitative analysis focused on conversations about psychoactive substances on the forum community of AlphaBay Market. A sample consists of 100 online threads. The data, collected in July 2016, were analysed by applying the grounded theory approach with the support of Atlas.ti.

Findings

Conversations in the marketplace forum focus mostly on the purchase. Concerns and disputes are voiced in a significant proportion of them, and interactions are affected by a climate of distrust where stigmatisation processes can emerge between users of different drug categories. This casts a certain amount of doubt on the thesis that marketplace forums – like online forums – are new forms of harm reduction and peer-led communities.

Research limitations/implications

The study focuses on only one marketplace forum. Other such forums should be analysed to corroborate its findings.

Practical implications

Harm reduction interventions in the online environment should take different form according to the forum type, and take the differences and boundaries that separate users of different substances into account.

Originality/value

Thanks to its infrequently used qualitative approach, the study provides a more thorough understanding of the relationships on marketplace forums.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Raven Egheosa Owie, Paul Gosney, Andrew Roney and Aileen O’Brien

The purpose of this paper is to measure the level of experience and knowledge of novel psychoactive substances (NPS) amongst psychiatrists, asking them to rank NPS against…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to measure the level of experience and knowledge of novel psychoactive substances (NPS) amongst psychiatrists, asking them to rank NPS against other psychoactive substances in terms of concern and the role they believe NPS play in the diagnosis and management of psychiatric disorders.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was created and emailed to all 217 psychiatrists working for a large city Mental Health Trust.

Findings

In total, 108 of 217 psychiatrists responded to the survey. A majority of the respondents believed that their level of knowledge of NPS was inadequate and stated that they would like to receive more training. Half of them either named only one or no NPS that they had encountered within the last five years. There was a correlation between the experience of the respondent and the number of NPS that they could name.

Practical implications

Most of the respondents assessed their own knowledge of NPS as either poor or basic. Psychiatrists’ knowledge of NPS could be improved by having regular NPS-related training, by being sent regular updates on NPS and by including lectures in the Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists courses. Psychiatrists should also be encouraged to access online resources such as NEPTUNE and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

Originality/value

This is the first survey of the UK psychiatrists of their knowledge and experience of NPS.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

William Haydock

– The purpose of this paper is to consider how policy researchers should respond to recent developments in substance use and the governance of drug and alcohol policy in the UK.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider how policy researchers should respond to recent developments in substance use and the governance of drug and alcohol policy in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes two elements from the 2010 UK Drug Strategy – supply and treatment – and considers a case study in each to briefly examine the potential role of local policymakers in shaping how substance use is experienced.

Findings

It is argued that the Coalition Government’s health reforms have given local commissioners greater autonomy over treatment policy than they had under the preceding Labour Government. Similarly, the regulation of new psychoactive substances in the UK has left local areas to determine their own approach to controlling supply through retail outlets.

Research limitations/implications

Drawing on the broader academic literature on policymaking, this paper calls for ethnographic research into local policymaking related to substance use, which will help to illuminate how perceived policy problems are shaped by particular local systems and understandings of evidence.

Originality/value

While this paper is not unique in identifying the importance of locally based research, it identifies the particular relevance of this research agenda in the UK today. It seeks to inform and encourage research that can shape the development of local policymaking.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 30 August 2010

Zoe Davey, Ornella Corazza, Fabrizio Schifano and Paolo Deluca

The market in licit recreational drugs is continuing to grow, both in the UK and elsewhere, and the internet has been acknowledged as a key factor in enabling this rapid…

Abstract

The market in licit recreational drugs is continuing to grow, both in the UK and elsewhere, and the internet has been acknowledged as a key factor in enabling this rapid expansion over the last few years. This is particularly true of the recent rise in popularity of the substance mephedrone (4‐methylmethcathinone) and related cathinones. Keeping up to date with these new drugs and emerging trends is a challenge for both professionals and users, particularly given the relative paucity of balanced and reliable information available and the potential for misinformation to be widely disseminated. This article examines the transmission of inaccurate information in relation to mephedrone and substituted cathinones, and discusses the implication of this for harm reduction and future research, by looking at the results of the European Commission funded Psychonaut Web Mapping project, which used online resources to detect emerging trends, monitor their diffusion, and develop a reasonably accurate profile of these new psychoactive compounds.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Liviu Gabriel Alexandrescu

The purpose of this paper is to investigate a group of Romanian injecting substance users “migrating” from heroin to novel psychoactive substances (NPS) as a counterpublic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate a group of Romanian injecting substance users “migrating” from heroin to novel psychoactive substances (NPS) as a counterpublic seeking to escape the stigma of drug abjection.

Design/methodology/approach

The findings are drawn from interview and observational data collected mainly at drug services sites in Bucharest, Romania.

Findings

The stimulant powders sold by head shops appealed to experienced drug users because they seemed to emulate a consumerist ethos and cultivate a healthy, rational agent that popular discourses of addiction deem incompatible with drug careers. NPS and head shops were thus initially understood as a possibility of escaping “junk identities”. However, they ultimately sealed injectors as abject bodies that obstructed the collaborative goals of rehabilitation and health restoration. A sense of symbolic distance shaped by notions of moral and bodily hygiene separated heroin and NPS users, as the latter increasingly came to be seen and see themselves as flawed consumers of health and freedom.

Practical implications

NPS retail spaces could present valuable opportunities to insert harm-reduction resources and harness counterpublic health strategies.

Social implications

Dominant definitions of substance use as unavoidable paths into self-destruction push users towards unknown compounds they can attach more fluid meanings to. This suggests that prohibitionist language still obscures rational dialogue about existing and emerging drugs.

Originality/value

The paper traces ATS/NPS in an Eastern European context offering an alternative vantage point to harm-focused perspectives.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

1 – 10 of 466