The New Drugs of Abuse: Difficult Detection, Unclear Treatment
the MPR take:
New classes of drugs of abuse are becoming a growing concern due to their increasing popularity and a lack of scientific data on proper treatment for addiction and overdose. Many of these new drugs are advertised as legal alternatives to illicit drugs while providing similar effects and are not detectable in routine blood and urine screening tests. These new classes of drugs of abuse include synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic cathinones (“bath salts”), salvia, desomorphine, and kratom; the extent of their abuse is unknown because data on users is not collected similar to those of other classes of drugs. Treatment for patients who present with symptoms of abuse or overdose of these drugs often include supportive care, a detailed history and physical examination, basic emergency care, toxicology management, and toxicology or poison control center consultation. Naloxone may also be used as an antidote for desomorphine overdose. For symptoms of aggression and psychosis, sedation (benzodiazepines or propofol) and antipsychotics (haloperidol or atypical agents such as quetiapine or ziprasidone) may be effective. Clinicians treating these patients should also consider therapy for withdrawal or addiction, nutrition support, and investigation of possible transmission of infectious diseases.
Drug abuse is a common problem and growing concern in the United States, and over the past decade, novel or atypical drugs have emerged and have become increasingly popular. Because many of these substances can have severe or life-threatening adverse effects, knowledge of general toxicology is ...
READ FULL ARTICLE From Wiley Online Library