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Recruiting Have you taken a new psychoactive substance in Canada in the last 12 months?

Tronica

Director of Research
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Messages
2,262
Location
Castlemaine, Australia
Health Canada have launched a new survey about new psychoactive substances.
If you have taken a new psychoactive substance in Canada in the last 12 months, they would love to hear from you.

Bluelight would like to publicly thank the funder for donating to us - these donations help us to keep Bluelight running without advertising dodgy products and websites :)
Please, if you do meet the inclusion criteria, Bluelight recommends you check out the survey and contribute your data as best you can.

Survey link: https://secure.malatest.com/prod/cwx.cgi?2020_NPS

Invitation to participate quoted below.

Thanks a lot everyone!

Hello/Bonjour,

My name is Stephanie Lefebvre, and I work for the research firm R.A. Malatest in Victoria, BC.

In 2017, Health Canada launched a pilot study (on Bluelight!) about New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) experiences. Given the success of that pilot study and the willingness of Bluelight members to share their experiences, Health Canada has asked Malatest to conduct an ongoing survey on their behalf. The results from this survey will allow Health Canada to better understand the presence and demand for NPS in Canada.

Any information you provide us is completely confidential (no identifying information is requested at any time in the survey). Questions you will be asked include where, how much, and effects that you experienced (e.g., unwanted health effects, come-down or after effects). We also ask general socio-demographic questions (e.g., gender, employment status). This survey is completely funded by Health Canada.

The survey is open to anyone (residents and non-residents) as long as the NPS experience took place in Canada. You can also complete the survey as many times as you like (for each unique instance of NPS use). The survey will be available until March 2021.

If you have any questions, I can be contacted at [email protected] or via the Bluelight private messaging system (username: malatest).

Please feel free to post the link to other online communities who may be interested in the survey!

Thank you!

Stephanie Lefebvre
 
Last edited:

ConcernedCanadian

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 8, 2020
Messages
1
Note to Canadian Bluelighters who are considering filling out this survey:

As mentioned, Health Canada has previously partnered with Bluelight to survey Bluelight's users on their use of novel psychoactive substances. At the time, concerns were brought up that the survey results might be used to support legislation banning novel psychoactive substances in Canada.

Despite its innocuous name, Health Canada plays a similar role to the DEA in the United States when it comes to the scheduling of drugs. Just like the DEA in the United States can unilaterally "emergency schedule" a drug without government legislation having to be passed, Health Canada can unilaterally decide to prohibit a substance without any legislation. Unlike with "emergency scheduling" in the U.S., however, Health Canada's bans are permanent.

A few days after the 2017 survey closed, Health Canada banned a class of NPS including the compound U-47700. Part of the rationale for the ban included:
Government of Canada said:
Based on recreational user reports, many of the effects of U-47700 appear to resemble those of oxymorphone or hydromorphone. Reports indicate that U-47700 is being sold and used for recreational purposes both internationally and in Canada.
Just a coincidence? Maybe. And the role that the survey would have played in this decision, if it did play a role, would likely have been minimal. But I still think it's worth taking into consideration before deciding whether or not you would like to share your NPS experience with Health Canada.
 

Tronica

Director of Research
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Messages
2,262
Location
Castlemaine, Australia
Thanks for the context @ConcernedCanadian

I think 10-15 years back we could potentially be one of the first places where a new recreational substance might be described, and a survey like this might be the first instance.

These days, with the mass machine learning AI stuff going on with information from across the whole public internet (plus who know what's going on with semi-dark and dark content), I doubt a survey is going to be the first place where a new substance is discovered.

The survey results will offer some pieces of info not available through other online content, namely understanding the demographics of the person using the substance (typically not available through BL or Reddit or other public online posts). And looking at the overall sample, you can get a sense of prevalence - but even that is flawed because it's a convenience sample.

But if you really want to avoid new substances being scheduled, people would have to stop mentioning them at all in public online, e.g. in forums like this one. I hope that doesn't happen - given the harm reduction info that we share here is important for people's safety!
 

Tronica

Director of Research
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Messages
2,262
Location
Castlemaine, Australia
This is their definition of NPS, on the participant information (first page of the link):

NPS are substances formulated to contain chemicals that mimic the effects of controlled substances, and are often referred to as alternatives to controlled substances. For example,

NPS may include:

  • "legal highs"
  • "herbal highs"
  • synthetic cannabinoids
  • "research chemicals"
  • fentanyl analogues
  • cathinone analogues
NPS do not include:
  • cannabis (e.g., marijuana, hashish, hash oil)
  • cocaine
  • speed
  • ecstasy
  • heroin
 
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