The Growing Challenge of Party Drugs in General Practice
Computing, Health and Science
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Postgrad Medicine, SIRCH
BACKGROUND: 'Party drugs' are commonly used by young people to enhance feelings of sociability, mood and sexual arousal. Recent studies suggest the prevalence of party drug use is increasing with more than 1 million Australians using party drugs. The potential for morbidity is high with increasing polydrug use. OBJECTIVE: This article aims to provide practical information for the general practitioner in the assessment and management of patients presenting with party drug related problems. DISCUSSION: People that use party drugs can present in general practice with a variety of symptoms and signs depending on the drug used. Importance is often placed on identifying the drug, but it is more important to engage the user and explore the drug using behaviour. While cessation of party drug use may be influenced by many things including GP advice, the natural history is eventual cessation, and GPs have a key role in promoting harm minimisation strategies and ongoing health care in the meantime.