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Club drugs: what's happening?
  1. Ann Kathleen Sullivan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ann K Sullivan, Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, 369 Fulham Road, Chelsea, London SW10 9NH, UK; ann.sullivan{at}

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In 2014, BASHH produced a position statement on ‘club’ (recreational) drug use. The aim of the document was to increase clinician awareness of the problem and provide information on screening, harms, interventions and referral pathways. Focusing primarily on newer psychoactive substances commonly referred to as club drugs, albeit with increasing use outside clubs for certain groups and substances, the advice relates to substances such as ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine), ‘crystal meth’ (crystal methamphetamine), mephedrone, GHB/GBL (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid/gamma-butyrolactone) ketamine, poppers (amyl/butyl nitrite) and ‘legal highs’.

There is increasing evidence of the widespread use of these substances, particularly within specific groups (eg, lesbian gay, bisexual and transgender, young people, clubbers, students) and the potential negative effect they can have on an individual's sexual health. Furthermore, there is a growing body of evidence for effective interventions to reduce an individual's level of use, which can be associated with a subsequent reduction in the higher risk sexual behaviours some describe. While many different groups of individuals may …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.