Novel Drugs of Abuse: Cannabinoids, Stimulants, and Hallucinogens

Evan S. Herrmann, Patrick S. Johnson, Matthew W. Johnson, Ryan Vandrey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A paradigm shift in the illicit drug market has occurred in the 21st century with a dramatic increase in the number of novel psychoactive drugs available. These novel drugs of abuse include: synthetic cannabinoids; synthetic cathinones; novel phenethylamines, piperazines, and tryptamines; and Salvia divinorum. This chapter provides an overview of these compounds, with emphasis on providing basic information on the history, pharmacology, epidemiology, and behavioral effects. Similarities and differences of substances in each category with regard to molecular structure and physiological, subjective, and behavioral effects are highlighted. We also present safety concerns associated with use of these drugs, and describe how attempts to regulate the legal status of novel drugs may promote an ever-growing number and variety of psychoactive drugs available for nonmedical use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGeneral Processes and Mechanisms, Prescription Medications, Caffeine and Areca, Polydrug Misuse, Emerging Addictions and Non-Drug Addictions
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780128006771
ISBN (Print)9780128006344
StatePublished - May 13 2016


  • Phenethylamines
  • Piperazines
  • Salvia divinorum
  • Synthetic cannabinoids
  • Synthetic cathinones
  • Tryptamines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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