This Brief explores emerging trends in drug use and distribution.This timely Brief examines recentexamples of emerging drugsincluding salvia (from the plantSalvia divinorum), bath salts (and other synthetic stimulants) and so-called research chemicals (primarily substituted phenethylamines, synthetic cousins of ecstasy), which havetended to receive brief levels of high intensity media coverage that may or may not reflect an actual increase in their usage.Over the pastdecade in particular,“new” substances being used recreationally seem to come out of obscurity and gain rapid popularity, particularly spurred on by discussion and distribution over the internet. While changing trends in the drug market have always presented a challenge for law enforcement and public health officials, online forums, media coverage and other recent trends discussed in this Brief allow them to gain popularity more quickly and change more frequently. These rapid shifts allow less time for researchers to understand the potential health consequences of these substances and for law enforcement to stay abreast of abusesof legal substances. This work includes: 1) review of relevant research and literature, 2) review the Internet sources in which many deem important in influencing the emerging drug market, 3) discussion of national and international trends in use, abuse and distribution of these substances and4) examination of current drug policy and recommendations for the future. This brief will be useful for criminology and criminal justice, sociology and public health.It will also be useful for those that deal with youth and the problems that may develop during adolescence and early adulthood.
About the Author
David N. Khey has focused his research on a few areas in criminology, criminal justice and forensic science. In particular, he is currently investigating campus crime and deviance; drug policy, control and toxicology and the changing evidentiary power of forensic science technologies. In this topical area, Dr. Khey has presented research on drug and alcohol use/abuse and provided policy analysis to local and state officials in Florida. A highlight of this work includes an invitation to address the Governor's Office Drug Policy Advisory Council in 2007. Dr. Khey is an active member of the American Society of Criminology, American Academy of Forensic Sciences and Southern Criminal Justice Association.
Table of ContentsNew Trends in Drugs of Abuse.- Historical Comparison inDevelopment of Drug Trends: Impact of Internet.- Case Studies of Emerging Drugs: Salvia Divinorum, Bath Salts and Research Chemicals.- Policies, Law Enforcement and Public Health Responses.- Drug Policy for the 21st Century.