New psychoactives within polydrug use trajectories—evidence from a mixed‐method longitudinal study

Higgins, K., O'Neill, N., O’Hara, L., Jordan, J.-A., McCann, M. , O’Neill, T., Clarke, M., O’Neill, T., Kelly, G. and Campbell, A. (2021) New psychoactives within polydrug use trajectories—evidence from a mixed‐method longitudinal study. Addiction, 116(9), pp. 2454-2462. (doi: 10.1111/add.15422) (PMID:33506985)

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Aims: To provide public health‐related research evidence on types and usage patterns of new psychoactive substances (NPS), developmental pathways into NPS and decision‐making factors for, and associated harms of, NPS use. Design: Three‐phase mixed‐methods design, including a latent class analysis (LCA) of the longitudinal Belfast Youth Development Study (BYDS), a narrative analysis of interviews with NPS users and a three‐step approach manual method modelling using regressions to reveal classes of substance use and their associated predictors and outcomes. Setting: Northern Ireland. Participants: A total of 2039 people who responded to the questions on ‘ever use’ of the drug variables included at wave 7 (aged 21 years) of the BYDS. Eighty‐four narrative interviews with NPS users. Measurements: Categories of drug use identified by LCA. Predictors and outcomes included measures of family, partners, peers, substance use, school, delinquency and mental health. Findings: A four‐class solution provided the best fit for the data: alcohol; alcohol and tobacco; alcohol, tobacco and cannabis; and polydrug (the latter including NPS). The qualitative analysis yielded a taxonomy that distinguished how NPS operate within a wider range of drug repertoires from experimental to problematic. Conclusions: In Northern Ireland, new psychoactive substances appear to be a feature of broader polydrug use rather than a standalone class of drug use.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Public Health Research (NIHR Ref 14/153/01). M.McC. was funded by the Medical Research Council and Scotland’s Chief Scientist Office. We would like to thank the National Institute for Health Research for their generous support. M.McC.was supported by MRC Strategic Partnership award MC/PC/13027 and by the MRC and Chief Scientist Office through the Complexity in Health Improvement programme MC/UU/12017/14; SPHSU14.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McCann, Dr Mark
Creator Roles:
McCann, M.Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Funding acquisition, Investigation, Methodology, Validation, Visualization
Authors: Higgins, K., O'Neill, N., O’Hara, L., Jordan, J.-A., McCann, M., O’Neill, T., Clarke, M., O’Neill, T., Kelly, G., and Campbell, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Addiction
ISSN (Online):1360-0443
Published Online:28 January 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Addiction 116(9): 2454-2462
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
168560MRC SPHSU/GU Transfer FellowshipsLaurence MooreMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_PC_13027HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
727661SPHSU Core Renewal: Complexity in Health Improvement Research ProgrammeLaurence MooreMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/14IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
727631SPHSU Core Renewal: Relationships & Health Improvement Research ProgrammeLisa McDaidMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/11IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU14
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU11