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Novel psychoactive substance use by US adolescents: Characteristics associated with use of synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones

Introduction and Aims

The current study documents the characteristics associated with the use of two novel psychoactive substances: synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones.
Design and Methods

Nationally representative samples of students in 8th (n = 9665), 10th (n = 10 655) and 12th (n = 10 057) grades across the US were included in the Monitoring the Future study from 2012 to 2014.
Results

There were relatively few differences in prevalence based on sociodemographic characteristics, although boys were at greater risk for use of synthetic cannabinoids in 12th grade (used by 10.3% of boys and 6.4% of girls) and for use of synthetic cathinones in 10th grade (used by 1.0% of boys and 0.4% of girls). Synthetic drug use was also associated with truancy and use of cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana.
Discussion and Conclusions

Prevention and intervention efforts for novel psychoactive substance use should focus primarily on polysubstance users and youth who are disengaged from school.[Patrick M, O'Malley P, Kloska D, Schulenberg J, Johnston L, Miech R, Bachman J. Novel psychoactive substance use by US adolescents: Characteristics associated with use of synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones.