Novel psychoactive substances

August10, 2016

There has been a change in the nature of recreational drugs available to users with an increasing availability of a wide range of novel psychoactive substances. The two most common categories of novel psychoactive substances are the synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists and synthetic cathinones. The synthetic cathinones cause stimulant toxicity that is similar to the pattern of toxicity is associated with amphetamines and cocaine. The synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists cause cannabis-like neuropsychiatric effects but in addition they are associated with stimulant toxicity and there are reports of acute kidney injury associated with their use. The toxicity of these novel psychoactive substances is discussed in more detail by David Wood and Paul Dargan in the chapter on the subject in volume 2 of Current Practice in Forensic Medicine edited by John Gall and Jason Payne-James.