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Title: New psychoactive substances (NPSs) in the Maltese society : current awareness and foreseeing the challenges
Authors: Sultana, Rowana (2020)
Keywords: Psychotropic drugs -- Malta
Designer drugs -- Malta
Issue Date: 2020
Citation: Sultana, R. (2020). New psychoactive substances (NPSs) in the Maltese society: current awareness and foreseeing the challenges (Bachelor's dissertation).
Abstract: New psychoactive substances (NPSs) is a term adopted by the European Community in 2015 to replace the terms ‘legal highs’ and ‘bath salts’ that were previously used. These NPSs are produced with the aim to mimic the effects of traditional drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, and heroin. Moreover, due to their alteration in their chemical structure, these substances pose severe effects and impacts on its users while posing a challenge to first responders such as the Police, the Emergency Department and other entities due to the lack of information and research available. This study focused on three main categories of NPSs being synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic cathinones and synthetic opioids. This study aims to evaluate the current awareness of NPSs in the Maltese society and foresee the challenges such substances bring. Moreover, this research highlights the impacts these NPSs bring to the Maltese society, and whether the literature reflects the current situation in Malta. The research is conducted by using qualitative data and using interviews as a tool which relies on the experience and knowledge of first responders. Interviews were conducted with the Emergency Department, Police Drug Squad, Sedqa, Oasi, Corradino Correctional Facility (CCF) and Customs. The research adopts a qualitative data analysis by conducting interviews as a tool to gain experience and knowledge of the participants. After the interviews were conducted, these were then transcribed and through a thematic analysis, several themes were formed. General findings suggested that participants are indeed aware of NPSs, their effects and impacts and how these substances effect their effectiveness and efficiency of their work. Moreover, findings showed that participants seemed to be confused whether Malta is still adopting a substance-by-substance concept or a generic concept of legislation, while identifying the importance of having a generic concept of legislation as it helps with prosecution while acting as a deterrent. Findings also suggest that although participants were aware of these substances, additional training is needed to enhance their knowledge. Overall, information gathered from this research concluded to be corresponding with the existing literature.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacSoW - 2020
Dissertations - FacSoWCri - 2020

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