High lifetime, but low current, prevalence of new psychotropic substances (NPS) use in German drug detoxification treatment young inpatients

Norbert Scherbaum, Friedrich Seiffert, Fabrizio Schifano, Michael Specka, Udo Bonnet, Stefan Bender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Over the last 15 years, a large number of new psychoactive substances (NPS) has been identified, with their use being associated with a range of acute medical and psychopathological complications. Conversely, NPS addictive liability levels have not been systematically assessed in clinical populations. Aims of the study: Investigating the lifetime and current prevalence of NPS use in a sample of substance use disorder (SUD) patients admitted to an inpatient detoxification treatment centre. Methods: Assessment of previous/current NPS intake carried out with the means of standardised questionnaire based on the European version of Addiction Severity Index. Results: Some 206 patients (males 77.1%; average age: 30.7 years-old; most typical diagnosis: opioid/polydrug dependence) participated to the survey. Roughly half (e.g. 111/206; 53.9%) of them reported a lifetime use of NPS, most typically synthetic cannabinoids. Conversely, the current prevalence of NPS use was 2.9%; no NPS dependence condition was diagnosed. Among NPS users, 56.3% reported severe side-effects such as heavy anxiety or psychotic experience, and 64% reported an aversion of ever using the respective NPS again, whilst 84.3% of those reporting a single NPS intake reported an aversion. Discussion: The sharp contrast between lifetime prevalence of NPS use and prevalence of current use might be explained by the high frequency of severe side effects reported by NPS users.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Early online date19 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • New psychoactive substances
  • NPS
  • detoxification
  • side effects
  • clinical sample
  • addictive disorders

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