The potential utility of some legal highs in CNS disorders

Colin Davidson, Fabrizio Schifano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Over the last decade there has been an explosion of new drugs of abuse, so called legal highs or novel psychoactive substances (NPS). Many of these abused drugs have unknown pharmacology, but their biological effects can be anticipated from their molecular structure and possibly also from online user reports. When considered with the findings that some prescription medications are increasingly abused and that some abused drugs have been tested clinically one could argue that there has been a blurring of the line between drugs of abuse and clinically used drugs. In this review we examine these legal highs/NPS and consider whether, based on their known or predicted pharmacology, some might have the potential to be clinically useful in CNS disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-274
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Early online date29 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2016


  • Legal high
  • Novel psychoactive substance
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Treatment


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