Wednesday, January 26, 2005

New Study on Designer Drug Use

A new study published in the Brown University Digest of Addiction Theory and Application studies designer drug use, abuse and negative side effects. Kathleen A. Parks and colleagues from State University of New York at Buffalo surveyed a sample of 50 club drug users who were recruited through various means. Some experpts from the news release:
Despite the fact that few users reported being "hooked," the average DAST score suggests that a majority of this sample would meet criteria for drug abuse or dependence. In addition, subjects reported a significant number of negative consequences associated with Ecstasy use.

Positive consequences of club drug use were reported by 10% or more of subjects in regard to Ecstasy, GHB, Ketamine, methamphetamine, and LSD. Feeling good and social benefits were reported as positive consequences of all five of these drugs. Subjects reported increased energy as a positive consequence of using Ecstasy, methamphetamine, and LSD. Stress relief and escape were positive consequences for Ecstasy and ketamine use. Gaining insight or great open-mindedness was reported for LSD use.

Ecstasy was the primary drug for which negative consequences were reported. Most frequent negative physical effects reported by 50% to 75% of users included profuse sweating, hot and cold flashes, tingling or numbness, and blurred vision. The most frequent negative psychological symptoms were trouble sleeping (reported by 75% of users); 20% to 46% of users also reported hallucination, depression, confusion, anxiety, irritability, paranoia, and loss of sex urge at least some of the time. Among negative life consequences reported were having trouble maintaining usual daily activities (40%) and experiencing financial and work troubles (20%).

Subjects reported few problems with aggression following club drug use. A small group of subjects reported getting into verbal arguments sometimes (14%) or half the time (2%) following Ecstasy use; 14% reported they had ever been involved in physical aggression, and 2% reported being involved in sexual aggression after taking Ecstasy.

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