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

Sutherland, R, Bruno, R ORCID: 0000-0001-6673-833X, Peacock, A ORCID: 0000-0002-5705-2026, Lenton, S, Matthews, AJ ORCID: 0000-0003-2961-9125, Salom, C, Dietze, P, Butler, K, Burns, L and Barratt, MJ 2017 , 'Motivations for new psychoactive substance use among regular psychostimulant users in Australia' , International Journal of Drug Policy, vol. 43 , pp. 23-32 , doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2016.12.021.

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Background: Examine the motivations for new psychoactive substance (NPS) use amongst a sample ofregular psychostimulant users (RPU) in Australia, and determine whether motivations differ acrosssubstances.Method: Data were obtained from 419 RPU interviewed for the 2014 Ecstasy and related Drugs ReportingSystem who reported lifetime NPS use. Based on the most recent NPS used, motivations for use wererated 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 acrosssubstance types. Availability (i.e. no other drug was available to me at the time; 6/10) was the most highlyendorsed motivation for the use of synthetic cathinones, which was significantly higher than reported forDMT. Perceived legality and availability were the most highly endorsed motivations for syntheticcannabinoids (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 formoney was the most highly endorsed motivation for NBOMe (8/10) and 2C-family substances (5/10); inregards to NBOMe this scored significantly higher than all other NPS. Short effect duration was the mosthighly 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 byparticular desirable qualities of a substance (i.e. value for money, short effect duration). Providing anuanced understanding of why individuals use particular NPS improves our ability to understand the NPSphenomenon and to tailor harm reduction messages to the appropriate target groups.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Sutherland, R and Bruno, R and Peacock, A and Lenton, S and Matthews, AJ and Salom, C and Dietze, P and Butler, K and Burns, L and Barratt, MJ
Keywords: new psychoactive substance use
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Drug Policy
Publisher: Elsevier BV
ISSN: 0955-3959
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2016.12.021
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© 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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