club drugs 180x120The second phase of the Royal College of Psychiatrists-run NEPTUNE project will aim to improve delivery of evidence-based treatment for ‘club drugs’ by providing new resources for clinicians.

The project to improve interventions for the harmful effects of Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) – more commonly known as ‘club drugs’ – is the first time that comprehensive guidance and tools will be delivered to small-scale clinical settings across the UK such as emergency departments, sexual health clinics and mental health services.

As well as helping to increase clinicians’ understanding of Novel Psychoactive Substance (NPS) use, the project will also develop new tools for data collection to improve a needs-assessment amongst populations at risk of ‘club drug’ harms.

NEPTUNE Chair and clinical lead at the Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust Dr Owen Bowden-Jones: "With a new drug appearing every week in the EU and around one million people using at least one of these last year in the UK alone, it is critical that we help clinicians to better recognise, understand and manage the effects of Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS).

"Because new substances are emerging so quickly, it is very difficult to expect clinicians to identify and manage harmful symptoms of NPS use. However, without this knowledge, we’re faced with a risk that many patients will be given inappropriate or ineffective treatment."

Find out more about the rapidly changing topography of today’s substance misuse sector at DAAT North 2015:

The project will see the development of a national e-learning programme to inform clinicians’ understanding of NPS, alongside new tools for clinical management and data collection to improve a needs-assessment among populations at risk of ‘club drug’ harms. This will help offer effective interventions for patients when they are seen by clinicians.

The resources will be developed for use across a range of clinical settings that have a high likelihood of receiving patients with symptoms of NPS use, including specialist drug services, emergency departments, sexual health clinics, mental health services and primary care.