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A matter of life and death: substance-caused and substance-related fatalities in Ibiza in 2015

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  • Rita Santacroce
  • Claudia Ruiz Bennasar
  • Juan Ramon Sancho Jaraiz
  • Federica Fiori
  • Fabiola Sarchione
  • Federica Angelini
  • Gabriella Catalano
  • Maria Luisa Carenti
  • John Martin Corkery
  • Fabrizio Schifano
  • Massimo di Giannantonio
  • Giovanni Martinotti
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Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2592
JournalHuman Psychopharmacology
Early online date18 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2017


Objectives and methods: In the framework of the EU-funded project “EU-Madness,” we collected and analysed all the reports of fatalities directly or indirectly related to substances of abuse registered in Ibiza from January to September 2015, in order to analyse the characteristics of the sample, the identified substances, and the nature of deaths associated with their consumption. Results: A significant increase of substance-caused deaths with respect to the previous 4 years has been highlighted. Most of the subjects were young males, more than half were not Spanish. Males prevailed also amongst the victims of traffic accidents and suicides. The most commonly involved substances included MDMA, alcohol, cocaine, THC, opiates and prescription drugs. Conclusions: Although the use of NPS is rapidly increasing in Europe, according to the results from our sample, alcohol and well-known stimulants (MDMA and cocaine) are still the substances of abuse mainly involved in the cases of substance-caused and substance-related fatalities. The significant increase of fatalities in Ibiza in the last 5 years is an issue that must be taken into account and should be better investigated, as other theories besides NPS-increased diffusion should be proposed, and therefore, targeted prevention strategies should be designed.


This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Rita Santacroce, et al, 'A matter of life and death: substance-caused and substance-related fatalities in Ibiza in 2015', Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical & Experimental, Vol. 32 (3), e2592, May 2017, which has been published in final form at DOI: 10.1002/hup.2592. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving. The Accepted Manuscript is under embargo. Embargo end date: 18 May 2018.

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