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NHS Fund ‘Club Drug’ Clinic

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An NHS clinic aimed at treating those addicted to ‘clubbing drugs’ opened this week with 70 referrals before it was launched.

The Chelsea based clinic has been set up by addiction psychiatrist Dr Bowden-Jones as the number of people addicted to ‘clubbing drugs’ continues to rise. As of yet, the harm that can be caused by taking ‘clubbing drugs’ such as mephedrone, ketamine and GBL is unknown but Bowden-Jones suggests that the types of people most likely to be affected are young, employed and generally affluent. He adds that substance users are unlikely to describe themselves as addicts.

Generally, clinics aimed at supporting and treating drug abuse target those with established drug addictions such as cocaine and heroin as practitioners are generally ill-educated in dealing with the effects of this new type of addiction.

The demand for a clinic of this kind became apparent during a pilot run, during which 70 people were referred after finding the information on the internet.

It is expected that up to 25% of late teens have tried an illegal drug within the past 12 months compared with less than 10% of adults. Dr Bowden-Jones explains that in club situations, typical drugs such as heroin are rarely used, with young people instead opting for newer, more fashionable drugs which are produced in order to keep on top of tighter laws.

However, the British Crime Survey found that banning the club drug mephedrone in 2010 made little difference to the levels of use, and so tackling their effects remains of high importance.

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