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Use of new and uncommon synthetic psychoactive drugs among a nationally representative sample in the United States, 2005-2017
Abstract

OBJECTIVES: This study aims to examine patterns and first mentions of reported use of new or uncommon drugs across 13 years, among nationally representative samples in the United States.

METHODS: Participants (ages >/=12) in the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (2005-2017, N = 730,418) were provided opportunities to type in names of new or uncommon drugs they had ever used that were not specifically queried. We examined self-reported use across survey years and determined years of first mentions.

RESULTS: From 2005 to 2017, there were 2,343 type-in responses for use of 79 new or uncommon synthetic drugs, and 54 were first-ever mentions of these drugs. The majority (65.8%) of mentions were phenethylamines (e.g., 2C-x, NBOMe), which were also the plurality of new drug mentions (n = 22; 40.7%). Mentions of 2C-x drugs in particular increased from 30 mentions in 2005 to 147 mentions in 2013. We estimate an upward trend in use of new or uncommon drugs between 2005 and 2017 (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Although type-in responses on surveys are limited and underestimate prevalence of use, such responses can help inform researchers when new compounds are used. Continued surveillance of use of new and uncommon drugs is needed to inform adequate public health response.

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Full citation:
Palamar JJ, Le A (2019).
Use of new and uncommon synthetic psychoactive drugs among a nationally representative sample in the United States, 2005-2017
Human Psychopharmacology [Epub 2019 Mar 6]. doi: 10.1002/hup.2690.