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Durham University

Policy, Professions and Communities Research Group


Publication details for Professor Fiona Measham

Wood, D., Measham, F. & Dargan, P. (2012). 'Our Favourite Drug': Prevalence of use and preference for mephedrone in the London night time economy one year after control. Journal of Substance Use 17(2): 91-97.

Author(s) from Durham


Aim: To conduct a follow-up study to assess the prevalence of use and popularity of emergent psychoactive drugs (“legal highs”), amongst London club-goers 12 months after previous surveys in the same location.
Design: Four in situ surveys were conducted in July 2011 at the same two fieldwork sites as the previous surveys to assess the prevalence of self-reported use of both illegal drugs and “legal highs”.
Setting: Field study in the night-time economy in South London, UK.
Participants: 315 customers in two “gay-friendly” South London dance clubs.
Measurements: Two-page research instrument designed for in situ drug surveys.
Findings: Mephedrone remained the most popular drug used (increase from 2010 to 2011 from 27 to 41%% of those surveyed who had used or planned to use mephedrone on the fieldwork night). Mephedrone was also respondents’ favourite drug.
Conclusions: This survey suggests that the popularity of mephedrone surpasses other drugs, both legal and illegal, despite it having been classified illegal by the UK government over a year prior to this survey. Club-goers appeared undeterred by the legal classification of this emergent psychoactive substance. This study has implications for other countries and other drugs regarding the relationship between drug use and drug control.