New psychoactive substances: the use and the associated health and social harm in Telford and Wrekin
AuthorsMabhala, Mzwandile A.
AffiliationUniversity of Chester
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractBackground: Although NPS use is increasing, the scale of their use and harms remains unclear. Reports from the United Kingdom show downward trends in drug use in England and Wales among 11 to 15-year-olds, but also a steady increase in NPS use. However, NPS use remains lower than that of many traditional illicit drugs. This paper presents the correlations between age and the awareness, use and accessibility of NPS in Telford and Wrekin local authority, England. Methods: A self-administered questionnaire completed by 204 participants assessed socio-demographic information and awareness, accessibility, effects, uses, and health and social harms of NPS. Their mean age was 25.7 years (SD = 10.9). Data analysis used the IBM SPSS statistical package version 21, with significance level set at p < 0.05 and confidence interval at 95%. Spearman’s correlation coefficiencies (rho) determined associations between variables. Results: Descriptive statistics showed that 85.8% of respondents were aware of NPS, 33% knew other users, and 9.8% had ever used it. 40.2% said that access to NPS was easy, 35.8% very easy. The study showed a rho of 0.3 between age and knowing of NPS (P ≤ 0.000); rho of 0.5 between age and knowing NPS users (P ≤ 0.000); rho of 0.28 between age and number of NPS users they knew (P ≤ 0.000); rho of 0.14 between age and the number of times they accept and consume NPS (P ≤ 0.040); rho of 0.042 between age and being offered NPS by someone you know (P = 0.548); rho of 0.11 between age and being offered NPS by strangers (P = 0.097); and rho of 0.08 between age and perceived ease of access to NPS (P = 0.253). Conclusion: While young people’s NPS use remains low, they are more likely to use them than the general population. Despite young people’s high levels of NPS awareness, their knowledge of higher numbers of NPS users raises concerns about their exposure. We recommend making more effort to prevent uptake of NPS amongst this group.
CitationMabhala, M. A. (2017). New psychoactive substances: the use and the associated health and social harm in Telford and Wrekin. European Journal of Public Health, 27(suppl. 3). https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckx187.313
PublisherOxford University Press
DescriptionThis is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in European Journal of Public Health following peer review. The version of record Mabhala, M. A. (2017). New psychoactive substances: the use and the associated health and social harm in Telford and Wrekin. European Journal of Public Health, 27(suppl. 3). https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckx187.313 is available online at: https://academic.oup.com/eurpub/article/27/suppl_3/ckx187.313/4556281