, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 395-404
Date: 29 May 2013

Severity of club drug dependence and perceived need for treatment among a sample of adult club drug users in Shanghai, China

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Abstract

Purpose

Examine the severity of club drug dependence and perceived need for treatment, and further identify their determinants among a sample of club drug users in Shanghai, China.

Methods

Two hundred and seventy-six club drug users were recruited using respondent-driven sampling (RDS). Severity of dependence on club drugs was measured using the Severity of Dependence Scale (SDS).

Results

69.9 % reported dependence on club drugs (i.e., SDS ≥ 4) and 36.6 % reported severe dependence (i.e., SDS ≥ 6). One-eighth (12.7 %) perceived need for drug treatment. Severe dependence on club drugs was more likely among those who reported recent use of ecstasy and those who had more depressive symptoms, but less likely among those reporting recent use of methamphetamine. Perceived need for treatment was more likely among those who lived with a spouse or boy/girlfriend, but less likely among those had prior drug treatment experience and more severe club drug dependence.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that educational activities should be implemented to raise public awareness about the powerful addictive properties of club drugs, along with efforts to reduce stigma towards drug abuse and psychiatric disorders. Programs to motivate drug users to seek treatment and encourage treatment linkage are urgently needed.