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Recreational drugs and health information provided in head shops

  • Divina Pillay (a1) and Brendan D. Kelly (a1)
Abstract
Aims and method

To determine which recreational drugs are most readily offered in ‘head shops’, and what safety information is provided; and determine sales assistants' knowledge about the mental health complications of cannabis. Researchers surveyed ten head shops in Dublin.

Results

Sales assistants in all head shops described their products as legal and safe. Overall, 50% stated cannabis was generally not harmful, although 50% stated it might cause depression and 60% stated it might cause psychosis in susceptible people. Salvia was available in 90% of outlets, although sales assistants in 78% warned about its potency.

Clinical implications

Legal, psychoactive drugs, some of which are banned in other jurisdictions, are readily available in Dublin head shops. Enhanced awareness and effective regulation are required.

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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
Brendan D. Kelly (brendankelly35@gmail.com)
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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1 Taylor, M. Obituary: Ron Thelin. San Francisco Chronicle 1996; 22 March.
2 Press, RM. Nationwide drive against ‘head shops’ runs into a federal court snag. Christian Science Monitor 1980; 17 December.
3 Clark, S. Rise of the head shops. Sunday Business Post 2007; 16 December.
4 McCandless, D. Exotic, legal highs become big business as ‘headshops’ boom. Guardian 2006; 9 January.
5 Prisinzano, TE. Psychopharmacology of the hallucinogenic sage Salvia divinorum. Life Sci 2005; 78: 527–31.
6 Wolowich, WR, Perkins, AM, Clenki, JJ. Analysis of the psychoactive terpenoid salvinorin A content in five Salvia divinorum herbal products. Pharmacotherapy 2006; 26: 1268–72.
7 Lally, C. Gardai raid 22 ‘head shops’ suspected of selling illegal drugs. Irish Times 2008; 7 November.
8 Kelly, O. ‘Head shop’ products face ban. Irish Times 2008; 1 December.
9 Patton, GC, Coffey, C, Carlin, JB, Degenhardt, L, Lynskey, M, Hall, W. Cannabis use and mental health in young people: cohort study. BMJ 2002; 325: 1195–8.
10 Castle, D, Murray, R. Marijuana and Madness: Psychiatry and Neurobiology. Cambridge University Press, 2004.
11 Spradley, JP. Participant Observation. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980.
12 Bulmer, M. Social Research Ethics. Macmillan, 1982.
13 Moore, L, Savage, J. Participant observation, informed consent and ethical approval. Nurse Researcher 2004; 9; 5869.
14 Sack, K, McDonald, B. Popularity of a hallucinogen may thwart its medical uses. New York Times 2008; 9 September.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Recreational drugs and health information provided in head shops

  • Divina Pillay (a1) and Brendan D. Kelly (a1)
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