The Attractiveness of New Psychoactive Drugs

Full article here.


A growing number of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) appear yearly on the European market (81 for the first time in 2013, adding to a total of over 350 NPS). Using semi-structured interviews with 25 Dutch experienced recreational drug users, the role of the Internet and friends in gathering and exchanging information about NPS was elaborated. Furthermore, we investigated how NPS were acquired and which aspects make NPS more or less attractive, including their legal status. It appeared that the Internet was an important source of information about NPS in general. Personal experiences with NPS were preferably shared face-to-face with friends, as for privacy reasons users were cautious to post their experiences on web sites and forums. NPS were usually obtained or bought from friends or—to a lesser extent—purchased via the Internet. The preference for a specific NPS depended on the desired effects (mostly stimulant or psychedelic), price (similar to MDMA or amphetamine), duration of effect (preferably around four hours), and setting (at home, at festivals, or in nightlife). Legal status was not relevant for the decision to use NPS. Most NPS are not superior to the already marketed drugs, and do not displace conventional illicit drugs.


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