By Emerald Publishing

Non-medical prescription drug use has gained increasing attention due to the use of opioids in North America and recent concerns in rising stimulant use for neuroenhancement in Western states (Maier et al., 2018). Less attention, however, has been given to non-medical use of prescription stimulants and other drugs in Southern and Eastern regions where statistical data is also scarce. Recent debates also indicate the need to research polydrug use, i.e. use of prescription medications as substitutes or additions to the drugs of first choice. The UNODC World Drug Report 2018 addressed the issue of spreading psychotropic drug use among injecting users, highlighting quick replacement of illicit drugs in open drug scenes by prescription and other synthetic drugs. Policy questions are also especially topical due to the upcoming ministerial segment convened by the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in March 2019. Thus, there remains a need for more research on user motives and polydrug use as well as policy responses regarding supply chains of prescription drugs.