Understanding the patterns of use, motives, and harms of new psychoactive substances in Scotland

This report presents the results of mixed methods research on new psychoactive substance use.


This report would not have been possible without the hard work and contributions of many people. Firstly, we would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge all 683 participants who took part in interviews, focus groups, or completed the online survey - without your contribution, we would not have been able to do this research. Thank you for taking the time to contribute.

Secondly, we would like to thank Saket Priyadarshi, John Campbell, and Jo McManus from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and Jim Sherval and Con Laffery from NHS Lothian for clinical considerations guidance, access to injecting information data sets and general advice, and Gregor Hodge for insights into NPS and opiate use.

In addition to this we give special thanks to our other local collaborators who were essential in gaining NHS ethical permissions across Scotland.

Marie Wilson, NHS Ayrshire and Arran; Susan Walker, NHS Borders; Jackie Davies, NHS Dumfries and Galloway; Steve Walker, NHS Fife; Elaine Lawlor, NHS Forth Valley; Fraser Hoggan, NHS Grampian; Debbie Stewart, NHS Highland; Pauline Izat, NHS Lanarkshire; Karen Smith, NHS Shetland; Russell Goldsmith, NHS Tayside; Karen Peteranna, NHS Orkney.

Many thanks also go to the services across Scotland who hosted the research team and displayed study information, those staff who participated in focus groups and to Mark Adley for use of the drug wheel. Finally, particular thanks go to the Scottish Drugs Forum Peer Researcher Team, who were involved with recruitment and data collection for the NPS survey:

David Barbour, Martin Boyle, Pauline Farrow, Nicola Middleton, Raymond Moffat, Ian Murray, Derrick Percival, Sandy Strang, Gary Trotter, Zoe Wilson.

Finally, we would like to thank the Research Advisory Group: Vicky Carmichael, Fiona Fraser, Peter Whitehouse, and Alistair Greig - for their advice and support in conducting this research. We would also like to add an extra special thank you to Isla Wallace (also from Research Advisory Group) for consistently providing excellent guidance and encouragement to all members of the research team - thank you.

This report is dedicated to the memory of:

Zoe Wilson
(1974 - 2016)


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