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Typology of new psychoactive substance use among the general Australian population

Sutherland, R, Peacock, A ORCID: 0000-0002-5705-2026, Roxburgh, A, Barratt, MJ, Burns, L and Bruno, R ORCID: 0000-0001-6673-833X 2018 , 'Typology of new psychoactive substance use among the general Australian population' , Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 188, no. 1 , pp. 126-134 , doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.03.034.

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Aim: The aim of this study was to examine the typology of Australian illicit drug consumers to determinewhether those who use new psychoactive substances (NPS) differ from those using other illicit substances.Methods: Data were from the 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, a representative population study;analyses were limited to participants reporting past year illicit drug use (including NPS; n = 3309). Latent classanalysis identified groups based on past year substance use, and a weighted multivariable, multinomial regressionmodel was used to examine characteristics associated with group membership.Results: Six consumer typologies were identified: cannabis consumers (46%), pharmaceutical consumers (21%),ecstasy and cocaine consumers (19%), amphetamine and cannabis consumers (7%), polysubstance consumers (6%),and inhalant consumers (2%). Sixteen participants (total sample: 0.07%; NPS consumers: 5.7%) reported exclusiveNPS use. Synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist use was highest among amphetamine and cannabisconsumers and polysubstance consumers; other NPS use was highest among polysubstance consumers. Polysubstanceconsumers were younger than all other groups, and more likely to engage in dangerous activities while under theinfluence of substances, inject drugs and report hazardous alcohol consumption. Amphetamine and cannabisconsumers were more likely to report trouble ceasing their drug use.Conclusion: We found no distinct profile of NPS-only consumers; however, NPS use was a marker for moreproblematic patterns of use. Our findings suggest that specialised NPS interventions or harm reduction messagesmay not be required in the Australian context; rather, they could be based upon existing responses to drug use.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Sutherland, R and Peacock, A and Roxburgh, A and Barratt, MJ and Burns, L and Bruno, R
Keywords: novel psychoactive; drugs;
Journal or Publication Title: Drug and Alcohol Dependence
Publisher: Elsevier Sci Ireland Ltd
ISSN: 0376-8716
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.03.034
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V.

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