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Addict Behav. 2018 Mar;78:85-93. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.11.004. Epub 2017 Nov 4.

Polysubstance use profiles among electronic dance music party attendees in New York City and their relation to use of new psychoactive substances.

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Department of Clinical and Experimental Psychology, University of Huelva, Huelva, Spain. Electronic address:
New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, New York, NY, USA; Center for Drug Use and HIV Research, New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, New York, NY, USA.
Center for Drug Use and HIV Research, New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, New York, NY, USA; Department of Population Health, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.



Electronic Dance Music (EDM) party attendees are often polysubstance users and are at high risk for use of new psychoactive substances (NPS). We sought to identify patterns of use of common illegal drugs among EDM party attendees, sociodemographic correlates, and use of NPS as a function of patterns of use of more common drugs to inform prevention and harm reduction.


Using time-space-sampling, 1045 individuals aged 18-40 were surveyed entering EDM parties in New York City. We queried past-year use of common illegal drugs and 98 NPS. We conducted latent class analysis to identify polysubstance use profiles of use of eight common drugs (i.e., ecstasy, ketamine, LSD, mushrooms, powder cocaine, marijuana, amphetamine, benzodiazepines). Relationships between drug classification membership and sociodemographics and use of drugs within six NPS categories were examined.


We identified four profiles of use of common drugs: non-polysubstance use (61.1%), extensive polysubstance use (19.2%), moderate polysubstance use/stimulants (12.8%), and moderate polysubstance use/psychedelics (6.7%). Those in the moderate/psychedelic group were at higher odds of using NPS with psychedelic-type effects (2C, tryptamines, and other "new" psychedelics; Ps<0.05). Extensive polysubstance users were at increased odds of reporting use of 2C drugs, synthetic cathinones ("bath salts"), tryptamines, other new (non-phenethylamine) psychedelics, new dissociatives, and synthetic cannabinoids (Ps<0.05).


NPS preference is linked to the profile of use of common drugs among individuals in the EDM scene. Most participants were identified as non-polysubstance users, but findings may help inform preventive and harm reduction interventions among those at risk in this scene.


Electronic dance music; Latent class analysis; New psychoactive substances; Polysubstance use profiles

[Available on 2019-03-01]

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