Synthetic Cathinone and Cannabinoid Designer Drugs Pose a Major Risk for Public Health

As part of an increasing worldwide use of designer drugs, recent use of compounds containing cathinones and synthetic cannabinoids is especially prevalent. Here, we reviewed current literature on the prevalence, epidemiology, bio-behavioral effects, and detection of these compounds. Gender differences and clinical effects will also be examined. Read more

Psychoactive Substances Taken with Mephedrone and HCV Infection

In recent years, the observed frequency of hospitalization of patients taking mephedrone with other psychoactive substances has increased. There are no data in the literature on the effect of mephedrone use on liver function in patients, including the frequency of HCV infection. We have analysed the impact of taking mephedrone together with other psychoactive substances on the incidence of HCV infection. We have also analysed the effect of taking mephedrone with heroin, alcohol, and benzodiazepines on liver enzyme levels. Read more

Abuse Potential of Cathinones in Humans: A Systematic Review

Assessing the abuse potential of new substances with central nervous system activity is essential for preventing possible risks of misuse and addiction. The same methodology is recommended for the evaluation of the abuse potential of recreational drugs. This systematic review aims to assess the pharmacological effects related to the abuse potential and pharmacokinetics of cathinones, which are evaluated in both experimental and prospective observational studies in humans. Read more

A mindfulness-based, stress and coping model of craving in methamphetamine users

There is increasing interest in the role of mindfulness and mindfulness-based interventions to optimize recovery from a substance use disorder (SUD). However, relatively little is known about the theory-based psychological and social pathways whereby mindfulness could have beneficial effects for managing a chronic, relapsing SUD. Read more

Gender Differences in the Relationship between Methamphetamine Use and High-risk Sexual Behavior among Prisoners: A Nationwide, Cross-sectional Survey in Japan

This study aimed to examine the relationship between methamphetamine (MA) use and high-risk sexual behavior among newly incarcerated prisoners in Japan. Read more

Use of sustained release dextroamphetamine for the treatment of stimulant use disorder in Canada

For people with opioid use disorder who are not responding to oral opioid agonist treatment, evidence supports the effectiveness of injectable opioid agonist treatment with injectable hydromorphone (an opioid analgesic) and diacetylmorphine (pharmaceutical grade heroin). While this treatment is effective at reducing illicit opioid use, concurrent cocaine use is prevalent. Dextroamphetamine (a central nervous system stimulant) has been found to be a safe and effective treatment for cocaine dependence among people receiving injectable opioid agonist treatment in Europe. Read more

DARK Classics in Chemical Neuroscience: Cathinone-Derived Psychostimulants

Cathinone is a plant alkaloid found in khat leaves of perennial shrubs grown in East Africa. Similar to cocaine, cathinone elicits psychostimulant effects which are in part attributed to its amphetamine-like structure. Around 2010, home laboratories began altering the parent structure of cathinone to synthesize derivatives with mechanisms of action, potencies, and pharmacokinetics permitting high abuse potential and toxicity. Read more

Pharmacotherapy of Patients Taking New Psychoactive Substances: A Systematic Review and Analysis of Case Reports

In recent years, an increase in the frequency of hospitalizations of patients taking newer and newer psychoactive substances has been observed around the world. Each year, authors publish case reports of patients who consumed previously unknown NPS. Most publications of this type concern the period between 2014 and 2016. However, no publication systematically reviews the pharmacotherapy used in these cases. This study aims to review the case reports of patients taking NPS published between 2010 and 2019, as well as analyzing the pharmacotherapy used. Read more

Molecular Mechanisms of Action of Novel Psychoactive Substances

Novel psychoactive substances (NPS) represent a severe health risk for drug users. Even though the phenomenon has been growing since the early 2000s, the mechanisms of action of NPS at the receptors and beyond them are still scarcely understood. The aim of the present study was to provide a systematic review of the updated knowledge regarding the molecular mechanisms underlying the toxicity of synthetic opioids, cannabinoids, cathinones, and stimulants. Read more

New Psychoactive Substances and Suicidality: A Systematic Review of the Current Literature

Background and Objectives:  Over the past twenty years a large number of new psychoactive substances (NPS) have entered and modified the recreational drug scene. Their intake has been associated with health-related risks, especially so for vulnerable populations such as people with severe mental illness, who might be at higher risk of suicidality or self-injurious behavior. This paper aims at providing an overview of NPS abuse and the effects on mental health and suicidality issues, by performing a literature review of the current related knowledge, thereby identifying those substances that, more than others, are linked to suicidal behaviors. Read more