Change search
Link to record
Permanent link

Direct link
BETA
Publications (10 of 51) Show all publications
Soussan, C., Andersson, M. & Kjellgren, A. (2018). The diverse reasons for using Novel Psychoactive Substances - A qualitative study of the users' own perspectives. International journal on drug policy, 52, 71-78
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The diverse reasons for using Novel Psychoactive Substances - A qualitative study of the users' own perspectives
2018 (English)In: International journal on drug policy, ISSN 0955-3959, E-ISSN 1873-4758, Vol. 52, p. 71-78Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

The increasing number of legally ambiguous and precarious Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) constitutes a challenge for policy makers and public health. Scientific and more in-depth knowledge about the motivations for using NPS is scarce and often consist of predetermined, non-systematic, or poorly described reasons deduced from top-down approaches. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to explore and characterize the users’ self-reported reasons for NPS use inductively and more comprehensively.

Methods

The self-reported reasons of a self-selected sample of 613 international NPS users were collected via an online survey promoted at the international drug discussion forum bluelight.org and later analyzed qualitatively using inductive thematic analysis.

Results

The analysis showed that the participants used NPS because these compounds reportedly: 1) enabled safer and more convenient drug use, 2) satisfied a curiosity and interest about the effects, 3) facilitated a novel and exciting adventure, 4) promoted self-exploration and personal growth, 5) functioned as coping agents, 6) enhanced abilities and performance, 7) fostered social bonding and belonging, and 8) acted as a means for recreation and pleasure. The consumption of NPS was also driven by 9) problematic and unintentional use.

Conclusion

The present study contributed to a more comprehensive understanding of the users’ own and self-reported reasons for using NPS, which needs to be acknowledged not only in order to minimize drug related harm and drug user alienation but also to improve prevention efforts and reduce the potentially counter-intuitive effects of strictly prohibitive policies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018
Keywords
novel psychoactive substances; motivation; drugs; legal highs; internet
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-65428 (URN)10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.11.003 (DOI)
Available from: 2017-12-18 Created: 2017-12-18 Last updated: 2017-12-28Bibliographically approved
Jonsson, K. & Kjellgren, A. (2017). Characterizing the experience of flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique) treatment for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): A phenomenological study. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 12, 53-59
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Characterizing the experience of flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique) treatment for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): A phenomenological study
2017 (English)In: European Journal of Integrative Medicine, ISSN 1876-3820, E-ISSN 1876-3839, Vol. 12, p. 53-59Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Among the anxiety disorders Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is currently the most treatment resistant, suggesting that treatment protocols could be enhanced. A promising treatment of GAD is flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique), which in earlier studies has been shown to alleviate symptoms in GAD. Although, research on flotation-REST as a treatment of GAD has shown promising results no study has explored how the treatment is experienced. By applying a phenomneological perspective the present study aims to characterize the experience of undergoing flotation-REST treatment while suffering from GAD. Nine participants with GAD, as defined with self-report measures, participated. Data was collected by semi-structured interviews that were conducted after the completion of a twelve session treatment profram with flotaiton-REST. The Empirical Phenomenological Psychological (EPP) method was usedfor gathering and analyzing the data. The analysis resulted in six themes that characterize the experience of undergoing a flotation-REST treatment while having GAD: (1) obstacles in treatment, (2) a relaxed and safe vantage point, (3) non-ordinary states of consciousness, (4) connecting with oneself, (5) new attitudes and coping strategies, (6) enhanced life-quality. The results highlights that flotation-REST treatment of GAD was experienced as a comprehensive processes that were both challenging and pleasant. The results indicated that the method positively affected symptoms and the core issue associated with GAD on an experiential level. The present study also genereated some initial understanding regarding potential mechanisms that migh mediate and maintain positive treatment effects when flotation-REST is applied as an intervention of GAD. 

Keywords
Anxiety, Generalized anxiety disorder, Phenomenology, Flotation-REST, Sensory isolation, Flotation-tank therapy
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-65365 (URN)10.1016/j.eujim.2017.04.011 (DOI)000414230000008 ()
Available from: 2017-12-11 Created: 2017-12-11 Last updated: 2018-01-08Bibliographically approved
Andersson, M. & Kjellgren, A. (2017). The slippery slope of flubromazolam: Experiences of a novel psychoactive benzodiazepine as discussed on a Swedish online forum. Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 34(3), 217-229
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The slippery slope of flubromazolam: Experiences of a novel psychoactive benzodiazepine as discussed on a Swedish online forum
2017 (English)In: Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, ISSN 1455-0725, E-ISSN 1458-6126, Vol. 34, no 3, p. 217-229Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim: The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the effects experienced by users of a novel psychoactive substance, the benzodiazepine flubromazolam, by analysing users' own accounts on the Swedish forum Flashback.org. Method: A thematic analysis of anonymous self-reports published on the forum was performed and generated five general themes describing effects and experiences by flubromazolam users. Results: The themes which emerged were: Onset and duration, Desired effects, Adverse effects and addiction, Loss of control, General estimations and evaluations. The main reported characteristics of flubromazolam were heavy hypnotic and sedative effects, long-lasting amnesiac effects and the rapid development of tolerance. Flubromazolam was also anxiolytic and acted as a muscle relaxant for many users. Some users experienced euphoria or intense wellbeing. Other prominent characteristics were loss of control (leading to poor choices and actions, with unpleasant consequences) and long-lasting, often severe withdrawals. There were also serious incidents where users had been admitted to hospital, acute psychiatric treatment or taken into custody by the police. Conclusion: Flubromazolam appears to be a highly addictive and precarious benzodiazepine with many, possibly severe, side effects. The substance is generally described as very potent and with long-lasting effects. Memory loss and loss of control are common adverse effects, and withdrawals appear to be severe for many users

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2017
Keywords
addiction, benzodiazepine, drug discussion forum, flubromazolam, harm reduction, novel psychoactive substance, NPS
National Category
Substance Abuse Applied Psychology Human Aspects of ICT
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-65705 (URN)10.1177/1455072517706304 (DOI)000406313600006 ()
Available from: 2018-01-18 Created: 2018-01-18 Last updated: 2018-07-05Bibliographically approved
Andersson, M. & Kjellgren, A. (2016). Aspects of Substance displacement - from illicit drugs to novel psychoactive substance. Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy, 7(3)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Aspects of Substance displacement - from illicit drugs to novel psychoactive substance
2016 (English)In: Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy, E-ISSN 2155-6105, Vol. 7, no 3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Several hundred new synthetic drugs, novel psychoactive substances (NPS) or “legal highs” have in recent years appeared on the drug market. These can effortlessly be obtained from on-line vendors, offering an easy access to a plethora of new and untested substances, often with unknown or dangerous effects. Several different attempts to reduce the availability of NPS and to prevent accidents and fatalities have been applied by governments around the world. Nonetheless this complex and constantly evolving situation provides palpable dilemmas and challenges to legislators and prevention strategists. One unintended consequence from prohibition and current drug policies occurs when possibly more precarious substances are used to substitute older and more well-known illicit drugs; so called “substance displacement”. We have performed extensive research on the use of NPS, by analyzing Internet resources (drug discussion forum, on-line questionnaires), and published several NPS studies. During our research we observed how substance displacement is a common issue, with implications for both clinical practices, drug prevention strategies, as well as for legislators. In the present review we discuss two common themes of substance displacement: 1) Synthetic cannabinoids replace herbal cannabis, and 2) Different attempts for self-medication using NPS. Incitements for substance displacement, that exposes the user to possibly more harmful substances, are founded both in legislation (availability of substances and fear of legal repercussions) as well as from certain policies or cultural perceptions of various medical conditions. We offer no obvious solutions to these complications, but would like to contribute to awareness of how these factors effects drug users and how measures intended to reduce harm in many cases have the opposite effects. Further studies on the divergent motivations and different groups of NPS users are highlighted as imperative to find new and realistic solutions going forward. 

Keywords
Substance displacement; Novel psychoactive substances; Legal highs; Drug abuse; Addiction
National Category
Applied Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-45336 (URN)10.4172/2155-6105.1000283 (DOI)
Available from: 2016-08-16 Created: 2016-08-16 Last updated: 2017-08-10Bibliographically approved
Ahlin, K. & Kjellgren, A. (2016). Prerequisites for teaching mindfulness and meditation: Experienced teachers from different traditions share their insights. Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy, 6(3)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Prerequisites for teaching mindfulness and meditation: Experienced teachers from different traditions share their insights
2016 (English)In: Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy, E-ISSN 2157-7595, Vol. 6, no 3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: Several authors have suggested demands and requirements for teaching mindfulness and meditation. In the scientific literature there is however a lack of evaluation of mindfulness teachers and how to teach mindfulness meditation effectively. This study aims at providing deeper insight of the importance of the teachers in the field of mindfulness and meditation and it investigates how mindfulness and meditation teachers describe the prerequisites for teaching mindfulness and meditation.

Method: The method of Thematic Analysis, TA, was utilized to analyse the data from semi-structured interviews conducted with twelve experienced teachers, from different mindfulness and meditation traditions. The participants are mindfulness and meditation teachers from either within the Buddhist, secular or both Buddhist and secular contexts.

Results: The analysis resulted in three main themes and nine subthemes, such as for example the main theme; Teacher qualification with subthemes; Becoming teacher, Being teacher, Pedagogic skills and Social skills. The results suggest a flexible and pragmatic view on how mindfulness and meditation teaching should be provided. Instead of a fixed set of requirements for the teacher and the student, what makes mindfulness and meditation teaching effective has to do with the ability to recognize the potential in every unique situation with an understanding of the impermanent and interdependent relationship between teacher, student and context.

Conclusion: Being and becoming a teacher is a continuous process and anyone can assume the role of mindfulness and meditation teacher. It is dependent on the students and the context. A formalized education is not a prerequisite but what is required is sufficient compassion and insight. For the teacher’s compassion and insight to ripen and for the student to learn, non-ideal conditions and suffering, is required and it is helpful with supportive fellow practitioners, teachers, especially if they themselves practice what they teach and share what they know.

Keywords
Mindfulness; Meditation; Qualitative; Teaching; Thematic analysis; Teacher; Student
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-45337 (URN)10.4172/2157-7595.1000243 (DOI)
Available from: 2016-08-16 Created: 2016-08-16 Last updated: 2017-08-15Bibliographically approved
Jonsson, K. & Kjellgren, A. (2016). Promising effects of treatment with flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique) as an intervention for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): A randomized controlled pilot trial. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 16, Article ID 108.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Promising effects of treatment with flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique) as an intervention for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): A randomized controlled pilot trial
2016 (English)In: BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, ISSN 1472-6882, E-ISSN 1472-6882, Vol. 16, article id 108Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: During Flotation-REST a person is floating inside a quiet and dark tank, filled with heated salt saturated water. Deep relaxation and beneficial effects on e.g. stress, sleep difficulties, anxiety and depression have been documented in earlier research. Despite that treatments for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are effective; it is till the least successfully treated anxiety disorder, indicating that treatment protocols can be enhanced. The use of Flotation-REST as a treatment of GAD has not been researched. The aim of the present study was to conduct an initial evaluation of the effects in a self-diagnosed GAD sample.

Methods: This study was a randomized, parallel group, non-blinded trial with 1:1 allocation ratio to waiting list control group (n = 25) or to a twelve session treatment with flotation-REST (n = 25). Inclusion criteria’s were: 18–65 years and GAD (as defined by self-report measures). The primary outcome was GAD-symptomatology, and secondary outcomes were depression, sleep difficulties, emotion regulation difficulties and mindfulness. Assessments were made at three time points (baseline, four weeks in treatment, post-treatment), and at six-month follow-up. The main data analyses were conducted with a two-way MANOVA and additional t-tests. Forty-six participants (treatment, n = 24; control, n = 22) were included in the analyses.

Results: A significant Time x Group interaction effect for GAD-symptomatology [F(2,88) = 2.93, p < .001, η2p = .062] was found. Further analyses showed that the GAD-symptomatology was significantly reduced for the treatment group (t(23) = 4.47, p < .001), but not for the waiting list control group (t(21) = 0.98, p > .05), when comparing baseline to post-treatment scoring. Regarding clinical significant change, 37 % in the treatment group reached full remission at post-treatment. Significant beneficial effects were also found for sleep difficulties, difficulties in emotional regulation, and depression, while the treatment had ambiguous or non-existent effects on pathological worry and mindfulness. All improved outcome variables at post-treatment, except for depression, were maintained at 6-months follow. No negative effects were found.

Conclusion: The findings suggest that the method has potential as a complementary treatment alongside existing treatment for GAD. More studies are warranted to further evaluate the treatments efficacy. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2016
Keywords
Flotation-REST, Flotation-tank, Sensory isolation, Generalized anxiety disorder, Anxiety, Emotion regulation, Relaxation
National Category
Applied Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-41216 (URN)10.1186/s12906-016-1089-x (DOI)000372861300001 ()
Projects
Floating
Available from: 2016-04-04 Created: 2016-04-04 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
Kjellgren, A., Jacobsson, K. & Soussan, C. (2016). The quest for well-being and pleasure: experiences of the novel synthetic opioids AH-7921 and MT-45, as reported by anonymous users online.. Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy, 7(4)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The quest for well-being and pleasure: experiences of the novel synthetic opioids AH-7921 and MT-45, as reported by anonymous users online.
2016 (English)In: Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy, E-ISSN 2155-6105, Vol. 7, no 4Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Two novel synthetic opioids, MT-45 and AH-7921, with mostly undocumented effects and risks, have emerged on the expanding market for recreational drugs on the Internet. The aim of the present study was to characterize the experiences of AH-7921 and MT-45 as described by the users on international drug discussion forums.

Methods: A systematic data search resulted in 96 self-reports which were collected from the leading edge resources of drug related information online. The data were analysed qualitatively using thematic analysis.

Results: The experiences of MT-45 and AH-7921 were characterized by the following themes: (1) Administration of the substances, (2) Well-being and energy, (3) Sedation and reduced here-and-now awareness, (4) Tolerance and withdrawal effects, (5) Side effects, (6) Evaluation of the effects, (7) Increased appreciation, sociableness and intimacy and (8) Self-medication. The experiences appeared to include not only the general and expected opioid effects like withdrawal, analgesia, euphoria, cough suppression, fatigue, constipation, itching, involuntary muscle spasm, nausea and pupillary constriction but also a noteworthy increase in energy. Furthermore, the users also experienced reduced inhibition and a facilitation of social situations. The results also showed that users engaged in different forms of self-medicating behaviour aimed at reducing pain or withdrawal symptoms from traditional opioid use.

Conclusion: The spread of unpredictable, potent and novel opioids constitutes a public health concern which needs to be further monitored in order to minimize potential harm. 

Keywords
Novel psychoactive substances; Opioid; Opiate; MT-45; AH-7921
National Category
Applied Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-45338 (URN)10.4172/2155-6105.1000287 (DOI)
Projects
Internetdroger
Funder
Public Health Agency of Sweden
Available from: 2016-08-16 Created: 2016-08-16 Last updated: 2017-08-10Bibliographically approved
Soussan, C. & Kjellgren, A. (2016). The users of Novel Psychoactive Substances: Online survey about their characteristics, attitudes and motivations. International journal on drug policy, 32, 77-84
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The users of Novel Psychoactive Substances: Online survey about their characteristics, attitudes and motivations
2016 (English)In: International journal on drug policy, ISSN 0955-3959, E-ISSN 1873-4758, Vol. 32, p. 77-84Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The increasing number of Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) constitutes a challenge for public health agencies and researchers worldwide. Scientific studies about NPS and their users are limited and there is a need to explore the general motivations for NPS use but also to examine if and how the motivations differ between substances from separate effect classes. The aim of the present study was to investigate the characteristics, including attitudes and motivations, of a self-selected sample of international NPS users.

Methods: An online survey containing questions about drug use history, attitudes, motivations for use, and WHO-5 Wellbeing Index was promoted at the drug discussion forum bluelight.org. The data was analysed using SPSS. Results: The sample consisted of 619 international NPS users with overall good emotional well-being despite extensive experience of both traditional and novel drugs. The main incentive for use of NPS in general was pleasure and enjoyment. However, going beyond the general approach to NPS revealed significant variations between drug groups. For example, the use of hallucinogens was substantially motivated by self-exploration and spiritual attainment and showed very low levels of addiction potential while the use of opioids and especially GABA activating substances was mainly motivated by coping and showed much higher levels of addiction potential. Synthetic cannabinoids were the least appreciated and least likely to be used again, and were mainly motivated by circumstances such as availability and legality.

Conclusion: Understanding the different motivations for NPS use in terms of drug groups could enable more effective prevention and consequently a reduction in harm. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
elsevier: , 2016
Keywords
Novel Psychoactive Substances, Motivation, Drugs, Legal highs, Internet
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-42038 (URN)10.1016/j.drugpo.2016.03.007 (DOI)000378457700012 ()
Projects
Ungdomar och Internetdroger
Funder
Public Health Agency of Sweden
Available from: 2016-05-17 Created: 2016-05-17 Last updated: 2017-12-18Bibliographically approved
Soussan, C. & Kjellgren, A. (2015). Chasing the High: Experiences of Ethylphenidate as Described on International Internet Forums. Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment (9), 9-16
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Chasing the High: Experiences of Ethylphenidate as Described on International Internet Forums
2015 (English)In: Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, ISSN 1178-2218, E-ISSN 1178-2218, no 9, p. 9-16Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Ethylphenidate is a novel psychoactive substance with undocumented effects, risks, and motivation for use. In this study, we investigated the experience of ethylphenidate by analyzing self-reports published on Internet forums, which revealed seven overarching themes: (1) compulsive redosing and addiction; (2) impacts on the mental state; (3) bodily agitation; (4) increased sociableness; (5) administration; (6) diverse evaluations based on intention; and (7) safety and precaution. Ethylphenidate appeared as a potent psychostimulant with an imminent abuse potential. It was mainly used for recreational purposes. The effects included not only pleasurable stimulation, euphoria, and cognitive enhancement but also indecisiveness, anxiety, and cognitive frag- mentation. The users reported an increase in body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure, but they also experienced profuse sweating and muscle ten- sion. Ethylphenidate acted as a social lubricant, enhancing intimacy, communication, and social skills. Two opposing user mentalities were uncovered: (1) pleasure seeking and risk neglecting, and (2) safety-first orientation. This information could be of importance to legislators, public health personnel, and prevention strategists. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Libertas Academica, 2015
Keywords
ethylphenidate, novel psychoactive substance, legal high, research chemical, Internet drug, drug use
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-35773 (URN)10.4137/SART.S22495 (DOI)000213885000003 ()
Projects
Internetdroger
Funder
Swedish National Institute of Public Health
Available from: 2015-04-07 Created: 2015-04-07 Last updated: 2017-12-18Bibliographically approved
Soussan, C., Sundström, K., Andersson, M. & Kjellgren, A. (2015). Poisoning Casualties: Alcohol, Pharmaceuticals or “Legal Highs”?: Poisoning Cases at Emergency Rooms in The Swedish County Värmland in 2007-2013. Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education, 5(6)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Poisoning Casualties: Alcohol, Pharmaceuticals or “Legal Highs”?: Poisoning Cases at Emergency Rooms in The Swedish County Värmland in 2007-2013
2015 (English)In: Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education, ISSN 2161-0711, Vol. 5, no 6Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The growing number of novel psychoactive substances (NPS), also labelled as “legal highs”, constitutes a challenge to public health. It is uncertain whether this trend is related to the increase in number of poising cases reported by emergency rooms. The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence of NPS in acute cases of poisoning in the Swedish county Värmland. The numbers of NPS casualties were correlated with poisoning by other substances. Both, the gender and age distribution of the reported cases were recorded.

Method: Records classified as poisoning casualties at the emergency rooms in Värmland during 2007- 2013 were collected and analyzed.

Results: NPS and illicit drugs constituted only a small part (1.67% and 7.84% respectively) of the total poisoning casualties. The results also revealed that alcohol and pharmaceuticals were present in the majority of cases (91.2%), and were to a larger extent involved in polydrug abuse and suicide attempts. Furthermore, the results uncovered an alarming poisoning problem among women who had taken pharmaceuticals and for suicidal young people.

Conclusions: It is unclear whether the comparatively low prevalence of NPS and illicit drug related poisoning casualties reflect the real prevalence of injury cases or a possible under-reporting. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Omics publishing group, 2015
Keywords
Poisoning, Emergency room, Legal high, Novel psychoactive substances, NPS, internet drug
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology with an emphasis on medical psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-39024 (URN)10.4172/2161-0711.1000386 (DOI)
Projects
Interentdroger - effekter och risker
Funder
Public Health Agency of Sweden
Available from: 2016-01-12 Created: 2016-01-12 Last updated: 2017-12-07
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-5668-0469

Search in DiVA

Show all publications