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Emerging psychoactive substances in Australia

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Poesiat, RA 2014 , 'Emerging psychoactive substances in Australia', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

The internet provides a growing medium for the emergence of psychoactive substances, with very little information pertaining to the safety of their use. It is imperative that these Emerging Psychoactive Substances, (EPS), are monitored, in order to detect new substances, and thus allow for researchers and clinicians to prepare for the effects of these substances on the general population. The current research aimed to implement a pilot internet monitoring system to replicate the Psychonaut Web Mapping Project in Europe. From this pilot data, the second aim was to provide a narrative review of the top ten identified EPS available to Australian markets. The study implemented a 12 month internet monitoring system and identified 43 online stores providing EPS to Australia, with a total of 212 total products identified as available to Australian consumers. The top ten most common EPS identified using the pilot monitoring system were: MDAI, 5-IAI, Methiopropamine, 5-MeO-DALT, 4-FMC, 4-MEC, MDPV, Butylone, DMAA, and Methylene. These substances were then researched on user forums to provide greater information on subjective user experiences, with a focus on physical or psychological harm and potential for substance abuse and dependence. MDPV was most frequently associated with harm in user reports, in addition to being identified as potentially addictive. This finding has been verified in the research literature more generally. The current findings indicate that there is a need to monitor the ever changing internet market in order to have some knowledge of the new substances that may be consumed by individuals in Australia. Furthermore, there is a need for more research and available information, in order to provide recreational users with evidence-based information. The potential for psychological harm has been verified, with a particularly concerning trend toward newly identified substances of abuse. There is a growing need to provide health care workers, and governing bodies, with information pertaining to the effects of these drugs, and their potential for abuse.

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Poesiat, RA
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Copyright 2013 the author

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