New and Emerging Illicit Psychoactive Substances

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20 Scopus citations


Several novel psychoactive substances have emerged in recent years. Users are typically young men who use other substances. In the category of stimulants, cathinones (“bath salts”) have predominated and can lead to agitation, psychosis, hyperthermia, and death. Synthetic cannabinoids (“spice”) are more potent than marijuana and can lead to agitation, psychosis, seizures, and death. There are no rapid tests to identify these substances and general treatment includes benzodiazepines for agitation and supportive therapy. Many Synthetic opioids are potent analogues of fentanyl and carry a high risk of overdose. In addition, there are several designer benzodiazepines that have emerged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)697-714
Number of pages18
JournalMedical Clinics of North America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • Cannabinoids
  • Cathinones
  • Designer drugs
  • Novel psychoactive substances
  • Psychotropic drugs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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