University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

By the same authors

View graph of relations
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychological Medicine
Journal publication date22 Jul 2019
Early online date22 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jul 2019

Abstract

Background: The present paper provides an updated review of both the large number of new/novel/emerging psychoactive substances (NPS) and their associated psychopathological consequences. Focus was here given on identification of those NPS being commented in specialised online sources and the related short-/long-term psychopathological and medical ill-health effects.
Methods: NPS have been identified through an innovative crawling/navigating software, called the ‘NPS.Finder®’, created in order to facilitate the process of early recognition of NPS online. A range of information regarding NPS, including chemical and street names; chemical formula; three-dimensional image; and anecdotally reported clinical/psychoactive effects, were here made available.
Results: Using the ‘NPS.Finder®’ approach, a few thousands NPS were here preliminarily identified, a number which is about 4-fold higher than those figures suggested by European and international drug agencies. NPS most commonly associated with the onset of psychopathological consequences included here synthetic cannabinoids/cannabimimetics; new synthetic opioids; ketamine-like dissociatives; novel stimulants; novel psychedelics; and several prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
Conclusions: The ever-increasing changes in terms of recreational psychotropics’ availability represents a relatively new challenge for psychiatry, as the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of many NPS have not been thoroughly understood. Health/mental health professionals should be informed about the range of NPS; their intake modalities; their psychoactive sought-after effects; the idiosyncratic psychotropics’ combinations; and finally their medical and psychopathological risks.

Notes

Submitted 24 November 2018, Revised 18 June 2019, Accepted 26 June 2019, Published online 22 July 2019

ID: 17012583