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Forensic patients’ experiences of Synthetic Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists (SCRAs) within custodial settings

Rogers, G; Rees, J; Rowe, S; Tyler, N; Tracy, DK; (2022) Forensic patients’ experiences of Synthetic Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists (SCRAs) within custodial settings. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology , 33 (1) pp. 152-171. 10.1080/14789949.2022.2037687.

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Abstract

There has been an enormous growth in New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), sometimes erroneously referred to as ‘legal highs’, over the past 15 years. There are currently at least 800 such compounds, and we lack adequate data on all their effects and harms. Synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (SCRAs), often referred to by the generic name ‘spice’, are particularly notable in this regard. There has been a lack of research on forensic patients’ experiences of SCRAs, their consumption, and any adverse impact they might have. This work qualitatively explored the experience of NPS and SCRA use in 19 male patients recruited from three secure forensic services in the South of England. The majority of participants discussed experiences of using SCRAs whilst in prison as opposed to their current forensic hospital admission. Three key themes emerged which describe participants experiences of SCRA use: (i) perpetuating cycle of drug use, mental ill-health, and crime; (ii) environmental injustices and consequences; and (iii) shame and stigma associated with SCRA use. The findings provide insights into the challenges faced by forensic patients as a result of SCRA use, as well as notable opportunities. A common call was for greater psychoeducation on drug harms and treatment opportunities.

Type: Article
Title: Forensic patients’ experiences of Synthetic Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists (SCRAs) within custodial settings
DOI: 10.1080/14789949.2022.2037687
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/14789949.2022.2037687
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: Synthetic Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists (SCRA); New Psychoactive Substances (NPS); Forensic Mental Health; PrisonSubstance Use
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10145549
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