Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study focuses on mephedrone use in Northern Ireland post-ban

04.10.2010
Researchers at Queen's University Belfast have completed one of the first studies of mephedrone use in Northern Ireland since the drug was outlawed earlier this year

Researchers at Queen's University Belfast have completed one of the first studies of mephedrone use in Northern Ireland since the drug was outlawed earlier this year. They found that the ban did not deter those mephedrone users surveyed from taking the substance.

Interviews with 23 mephedrone users were completed during a two-month period (May and June 2010) following the legislation that made the drug illegal in the UK. Study participants were aged 19 to 51 years, around half of whom (12) were female. 19 of the 23 people who took part in the study were employed, and most occupations were affiliated with business, trades, the service industry or the public sector.

The research was led by Dr Karen McElrath at Queen's School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work.

The key findings from the study were:

21 of the 23 study participants had used mephedrone after the ban.

Only one person was very much opposed to using the substance again.

Approximately half the sample preferred mephedrone to cocaine or ecstasy. Some had experienced negative effects, for example, sleeplessness, difficult comedowns and next-day depression, but these factors generally did not deter them from using the substance again.

None of those who took part in the research felt that 'legal highs' were safe simply because they were legal.

None of the study participants recalled an initial interest in using mephedrone because it had been legal. Rather, its legality before April 2010 meant that it was easier to access and cheaper than many illegal substances.

Prior to the ban, only three interviewees had purchased mephedrone from 'head shops' and four interviewees had purchased mephedrone from online suppliers.

The majority tended to access mephedrone through friends or dealers.

The majority of interviewees had prior experience of taking ecstasy, amphetamine or cocaine.

During their most recent use of mephedrone, all the study participants had also consumed alcohol, although the timing and amount of alcohol varied.

During their most recent use of mephedrone, six of the 23 participants had used another psychoactive substance, other than alcohol.

During their most recent use of mephedrone, most participants had consumed between one-two grams of the drug, although half recalled bingeing on mephedrone, sharing upward of seven-eight grams with two to three other people.

Dr McElrath said: "This is one of the first studies into mephedrone use in Northern Ireland since it was made illegal earlier this year. The findings suggest that the ban did not have a significant impact on those who already used mephedrone, at least during the two-month period that followed the ban. We are keen to develop this research further and to compare our results with a similar study conducted in Waterford prior to the ban on mephedrone in the Republic of Ireland in May 2010."

The study was part of a cross-border research partnership with Marie Clare Van Hout at the Waterford Institute of Technology.

Media inquiries to Anne-Marie Clarke at Queen's Press and PR Unit on +44 (0)28 9097 5320 or +44 (0)7814415451 or anne-marie.clarke@qub.ac.uk

Notes to editors:

1. Dr Karen McElrath is available for interview.

2. Mephedrone was made illegal in the UK in April 2010, and in the Republic of Ireland in May 2010.

3. For more information about Marie Clare Van Hout's research in the Republic of Ireland, contact 00353 872375979.

Anne-Marie Clarke | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.qub.ac.uk

Further reports about: Belfast Social Impacts mephedrone psychoactive substance

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>