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‘Legal highs' and other ‘club drugs’: why the song and dance?

  • Owen Bowden-Jones (a1)
Summary

Patterns of drug use are changing, with an increase in the use of a new group of psychoactive substances known as ‘club drugs'. Comprising both legal and illegal drugs, many club drugs can be purchased online, increasing their availability. The harmful consequences are now emerging and include severe affective and psychotic symptoms as well as physical symptoms such as ketamine-induced ulcerative cystitis. Psychiatrists need to consider club drugs as a precipitating factor for psychiatric presentation. This editorial will describe the more common substances and their effects.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Owen Bowden-Jones (owen.bowdenjones@nhs.net)
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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1 European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. EMCDDA-Europol 2011 Annual Report on the Implementation of Council Decision 2005/387/JHA. EMCDDA/Europol, 2012.
2 HM Government. Drug Strategy 2010. Reducing Demand, Restricting Supply, Building Recovery: Supporting People to Live a Drug Free Life. Home Office, 2010.
3 House of Commons Home Affairs Committee. Drugs: Breaking the Cycle. Ninth Report of Session 2012–13. Home Affairs Committee, 2012.
4 UK Drug Policy Commission. Taking Drugs Seriously: A Demos and UK Drug Policy Commission Report on Legal Highs. UKDPC, 2011.
5 Home Office. Drug Misuse Declared: Findings from the 2011/12 Crime Survey for England and Wales (2nd edn). Home Office, 2012.
6 Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Consideration of the Novel Psychoactive Substances (‘Legal Highs’). Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, 2011.
7 National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse. Drug Treatment 2012: Progress Made, Challenges Ahead. NTA, 2012.
8 National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse. Club Drugs: Emerging Trends and Risks. NTA, 2012.
9 UK Drug Policy Commission. The Impact of Drugs on Different Minority Groups: LGBT Groups. UKDPC, 2010.
10 Ghodse, H, Corkery, J, Schifano, F, Piolanti, A, Trincas, G, Di Melchiorre, G. Drug-Related Deaths in the UK, Annual Report 2011. International Centre for Drug Policy, St George's, University of London, 2012.
11 Shahani, R, Streutker, C, Dickson, B, Stewart, RJ. Ketamine-associated ulcerative cystitis: a new clinical entity. Urology 2007; 69: 810–2.
12 Gutkin, E, Hussain, SA, Kim, SH. Ketamine-induced biliary dilatation: from Hong Kong to New York. J Addict Med 2012; 6: 8991.
13 Galloway, GP, Frederick, SL, Staggers, FE Jr, Gonzales, M, Stalcup, SA, Smith, DE. Gamma-hydroxybutyrate: an emerging drug of abuse that causes physical dependence. Addiction 1997; 92: 8996.
14 DrugScope. DrugScope Street Drug Trends Survey. Druglink 2012; Nov/Dec.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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‘Legal highs' and other ‘club drugs’: why the song and dance?

  • Owen Bowden-Jones (a1)
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