September 2016 - August 2019
Amphetamine type stimulants (ATS), such as amphetamine, methamphetamine and MDMA, are one of the most commonly used drugs in Europe. However there is limited evidence available on what shapes the course of individual drug use over time, although the theoretical evidence base suggests the influence of a range of factors, including individual differences, social dynamics and environment/culture.
This project aims to examine pathways of drug use among users of illicit stimulants in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Poland and the Czech Republic. The project will explore why some individuals exposed to ATS do not start to consume, some users manage to keep their stimulant consumption on a comparatively controlled level and/or stop consumption altogether, while others switch to risky consumption patterns and/or develop dependency.
The study will be sequential, comprising two core Modules. Module 1 will use qualitative methods (semi-structured interviews with n=270 participants) to explore individual experiences of, and perspectives on, dynamics of change in stimulant consumption patterns. Module 2 will use quantitative methods (structured questionnaires with n = 2000 respondents) to validate and enhance the generalisability of the interview findings. Recruitment of different types of stimulant user, ex-user and non-user will be realized via modified snowball-sampling using dependent ATS users who are in treatment as seeds.
By examining different types of stimulant users (including ex-users and non-users) information will be generated which will be important for universal prevention (targeting general populations), selective prevention (focussing vulnerable groups) and indicated prevention (aiming at vulnerable groups) as well as for tailored treatment options for ATS user.
Involved European partners
European Research Area Network on Illicit Drugs (ERANID)/ German Federal Ministry of Health (BMG)