The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

3002.0: Monday, November 11, 2002 - 9:06 AM

Abstract #45109

Expanding harm reduction to club drugs

Brian C. Kelly, MA, MPhil, Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University, 722 W 168th St, New York, NY 10032, 212 662-4769,

Club drug use is an emerging phenomenon with broad and far reaching public health implications. This paper aims to demonstrate how as patterns of club drug use continue to emerge, they are not only creating new challenges for the public health community but are stimulating new responses to these challenges as well as entrenched problems. The presenter will highlight the aspects of the club drug phenomenon that make it unique from previous cycles of drug use. These unique aspects require an adaptation of existing harm reduction frameworks as well as the emergence of new frameworks, which may subsequently assist in confronting previous threats to health promotion. Though all risks associated with club drug use remain unclear, the need to adapt harm reduction efforts to reduce known risks lingers. However, harm reduction has largely espoused an individualistic model. The presenter discusses why such an approach may be a detriment to those most at risk. Furthermore, the club drug phenomenon offers the opportunity to re-examine harm reduction through a multi-layered model. Specifically, the proposed paper outlines and describes such a model and couches harm reduction in three interactive layers, the individual level, the interpersonal level, and the structural level. Finally, the presenter outlines approaches for public health professionals to engage these multiple levels and promote a situation in which if these drugs are used, the risks to the user and the community can be minimized.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Club Drugs: Trends and Harm Reduction

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA