Consumption of new psychoactive substances in a Spanish sample of research chemical users
OBJECTIVE: To know the pattern of use of new psychoactive substances (NPSs) in a Spanish sample of research chemical (RC) users and to deepen the RC user profile and risk reduction strategies employed.METHODS: This study is a cross-sectional survey by means of a specific questionnaire. Recruitment was carried out at music festivals, at non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and through announcements on an online forum. Two RC user profiles were defined, according to whether they search information through online forums.RESULTS: A total of 230 users participated. The most frequent RCs were hallucinogenic phenethylamines (2C-B 80.0%, 2C-I 39.6%) and cathinones (methylone 40.1%, mephedrone 35.2%). The most frequent combination of RC with other illegal drugs was with cannabis (68.6%) and 2C-B with MDMA (28.3%). Subjects who are consulting drug forums (group 1) use more RC, obtain RC by Internet, and use more frequently risk prevention strategies. Regarding the risk-reduction strategies in this group, users sought information concerning RC before consuming them (100%), used precision scales to calculate dosage (72.3%), and analyzed the contents before consumption (68.8%).CONCLUSIONS: There is a specific RC user profile with extensive knowledge and consumption of substances, using different strategies to reduce risks associated to its consumption.