Thursday, 24 February 2011

Rethinking Drug Culture - new recreational drugs on the Internet

During the last decade there has been a sharp change in the social, cultural and political context of drug addiction, which has led to unprecedented new challenges.

It has been documented that increasing numbers of unregulated websites are dedicated to the dissemination of novel recreational drugs such as mephedrone, spice, b-fly, all of which may well have long-term effects on users' health.

Unfortunately, young and problematic individuals are amongst the most at risk of taking advantage of online available information. In this context, the Recreational Drugs European Network (ReDNet), a multi-site and multi-disciplinary research project, will help to inform and promote healthier ways of life while reducing health related risks associated with drug taking.

Further, in exploring the potentials of cutting-edge information communication technologies (such as SMS, social networking sites, multimedia platforms, virtual learning environments) it is likely that the proposed activities will create new synergies among health agencies at the national and transnational level as well as help to reduce health inequalities among those who are marginalized and have no immediate access to public health services.

It would be good to hear your comments about this issue.

Dr Ornella Corazza is manager of the ReDNet project

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