Illicit drug use and associated problems in the nightlife scene: A potential setting for prevention

Kristin Feltmann, Tobias H. Elgán, Anna K. Strandberg, Pia Kvillemo, Nitya Jayaram-Lindström, Meryem Grabski, Jon Waldron, Tom Freeman, Helen Valerie Curran, Johanna Gripenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (SciVal)


Illicit drug use is prevalent in the nightlife scene, especially at electronic dance music (EDM) events. The aim of the present study was to investigate illicit drug use patterns and consequences of drug use among frequent visitors of EDM events. Young adults (18–34 years old) who had visited at least six EDM events in Sweden during the past year participated in a web-based survey on drug use patterns and its consequences. Fifty-nine percent of participants had used illicit drugs during the past year, most often cannabis followed by ecstasy, cocaine, and amphetamine. Nightlife venues were identified as the main setting for the use of central stimulants, while cannabis was mostly used at home. Frequent alcohol and tobacco use was associated with illicit drug use. The most prevalent negative consequences of drug use were related to mental health, such as impairments in mood, sleep, and memory problems, but physical manifestations were also reported, such as palpitations and collapsing. These findings confirm that drug use is prevalent and associated with negative health effects among EDM nightlife attendees. The nightlife scene is a setting with promising potential to reach a high-risk target group with illicit drug use prevention interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4789
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number9
Early online date30 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021


  • Abuse
  • Age
  • Anxiety
  • Festivals
  • Gender
  • Illicit drugs
  • Nightclubs
  • Prevention
  • Substance use disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Illicit drug use and associated problems in the nightlife scene: A potential setting for prevention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this