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CESI team explores the use of New Psychoactive Substances by young people

A new report by an interdisciplinary team of colleagues in our Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation has been published by the National Institute for Health Research. The report, ‘Variation and Determinants of Novel Psychoactive Substance (NPS) Use: Potential Implications for Policy and Practice’, investigated patterns of NPS use (formerly referred to as ‘legal highs’), including how best to address the harms associated with usage. NPS are synthetic alternatives to traditional illegal drugs, relatively cheaper than traditional drugs and frequently more potent. The appeal of easier accessibility has led to an increase in usage, presenting a significant public health challenge globally. The study involved analysis of the Belfast Youth Development Study and interviews with people with experience of NPS use, including those in a prison setting. You can read more about the research and its findings at