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Home > Home manufacture of drugs: an online investigation and a toxicological reality check of online discussions on drug chemistry.

Hearne, Evelyn and Alves, Emanuele Amorim and Van Hout, Marie Claire and Grund, Jean-Paul C (2017) Home manufacture of drugs: an online investigation and a toxicological reality check of online discussions on drug chemistry. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs , 49 , (4) , pp. 279-288.

Emerging trends in market dynamics and the use of new psychoactive substances are both a public health concern and a complex regulatory issue. One novel area of investigation is the availability of homemade opioids, amphetamines and dissociatives, and the potential fueling of interest in clandestine home manufacture of drugs via the Internet. We illustrate here how online communal folk pharmacology of homemade drugs on drug website forums may actually inform home manufacture practices or contribute to the reduction of harms associated with this practice. Discrepancies between online information around purification and making homemade drugs safer, and the synthesis of the same substances in a proper laboratory environment, exist. Moderation and shutdown of synthesis queries and discussions online are grounded in drug websites adhering to harm-reduction principles by facilitating discussions around purification of homemade drugs only. Drug discussion forums should consider reevaluating their policies on chemistry discussions in aiming to reach people who cannot or will not refrain from cooking their own drugs with credible information that may contribute to reductions in the harms associated with this practice.


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