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      Substance Use in the Club Scene of Rome: A Pilot Study


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          Objective. Over the last few years, a wide number of unregulated substances have been marketed on the Web and in smart and head shops; they are usually advertised as legal alternatives to commonly known drugs and are defined as “smart drugs,” “legal highs,” and “novel psychoactive substances” (NPS). Aim of our work is to describe use habits and distribution of NPS in a population of young adults in Rome club scene. Methods. A self-administered questionnaire was proposed to subjects over 18 years of age at the entrance of 5 nightclubs in Rome. Socioeconomic characteristics and substance use were investigated. Results. Preliminary results give evidence that 78% of respondents have a lifetime history of NPS use. In addition, 56% of the sample has consumed illicit drugs in the past and 39% has used psychoactive substances in the 12 hours preceding the questionnaire administration. Conclusions. A significant proportion of subjects report use of novel psychoactive substances; traditional illicit drugs consumption, particularly cocaine, appears to be very high as well in the club scene. These data highlight a serious public health challenge, since pharmacological, toxicological, and psychopathological effects linked to interactions among all these substances may be unpredictable and sometimes fatal in vulnerable individuals.

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          Most cited references27

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          Phenomenon of new drugs on the Internet: the case of ketamine derivative methoxetamine.

          On the basis of the material available both in the scientific literature and on the web, this paper aims to provide a pharmacological, chemical and behavioural overview of the novel compound methoxetamine. This is a dissociative drug related to ketamine, with a much longer duration of action and intensity of effects. A critical discussion of the availability of information on the web of methoxetamine as a new recreational trend is here provided. Those methodological limitations, which are intrinsically associated with the analysis of online, non-peer reviewed, material, are here discussed as well. It is concluded that the online availability of information on novel psychoactive drugs, such as methoxethanine, may constitute a pressing public health challenge. Better international collaboration levels and novel forms of intervention are necessary to tackle this fast-growing phenomenon. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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            Trapped in the "K-hole": overview of deaths associated with ketamine misuse in the UK (1993-2006).

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              Typology of club drug use among young adults recruited using time-space sampling.

              The present study examined patterns of recent club drug use among 400 young adults (18-29) recruited using time-space sampling in NYC. Subjects had used at least one of six club drugs (methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), ketamine, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), cocaine, methamphetamine, and D-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)) within the prior 3 months. We used latent class analysis (LCA) to estimate latent groups based on patterns of recent club drug use and examined differences in demographic and psychological variables by class. A 3-class model fit the data best. Patterns were: Primary cocaine users (42% of sample), Mainstream users (44% of sample), and Wide-range users (14% of sample). Those most likely to be Primary cocaine users were significantly less likely to be heterosexual males and had higher educational attainment than the other two classes. Those most likely to be Wide-range users were less likely to be heterosexual females, more likely to be gay/bisexual males, dependent on club drugs, had significantly greater drug and sexual sensation seeking, and were more likely to use when experiencing physical discomfort or pleasant times with others compared to the other two groups. Findings highlight the utility of using person-centered approaches to understand patterns of substance use, as well as highlight several patterns of club drug use among young adults. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Biomed Res Int
                Biomed Res Int
                BioMed Research International
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                28 August 2014
                : 2014
                : 617546
                1Asl RMC, Osservatorio sulle Dipendenze e sui Disturbi Psichici Sotto Soglia, 00100 Rome, Italy
                2Department of Neuroscience and Imaging, University “G.d'Annunzio”, 66100 Chieti, Italy
                3Asl VT, Osservatorio sulle Dipendenze e sui Disturbi Psichici Sotto Soglia, 00100 Rome, Italy
                4Libera Università Maria SS. Assunta, 00100 Rome, Italy
                5School of Life and Medical Sciences, University of Hertfordshire, Herts SG13, UK
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Zsolt Demetrovics

                Author information
                Copyright © 2014 Alessandro Emiliano Vento et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 15 April 2014
                : 7 July 2014
                : 7 July 2014
                Research Article


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