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GHB and synthetic cathinones: clinical effects and potential consequences.

GHB and synthetic cathinones: clinical effects and potential consequences. | novel psychoactive substances | Scoop.it

Karila L, Reynaud M. GHB and synthetic cathinones: clinical effects and potential consequences. Drug Test Anal. 2011 Sep;3(9):552-9.

 

Abstract
Designer drugs belong to a group of legally or illegally produced substances that are structurally and pharmacologically very similar to illicit drugs. In the past, designer drugs were often used during all-night dance parties, but they are now consumed in multiple settings from college bars to parks to private house parties. Most of these club drugs can be bought on legal websites and home-delivered for private parties. Recently, legal highs have once again become a burning media issue across the world. Our review will focus on GHB and synthetic cathinones. Literature searches were conducted for the period from 1975 to July 2010 using PubMed, EMBASE, PsycInfo, Internet underground and governmental websites using the following keywords alone or in combination: designer drugs, club drugs, party drugs, GHB, synthetic cathinones, mephedrone, methylone, flephedrone, MDAI, and MDVP. Available epidemiological, neurobiological, and clinical data for each compound are described. There is evidence that negative health and social consequences may occur in recreational and chronic users. The addictive potential of designer drugs is not weak. Non-fatal overdoses and deaths related to GHB/GBL or synthetic cathinones have been reported. Clinicians must be careful with GBL or synthetic cathinones, which are being sold and used as substitutes for GHB and MDMA, respectively. Interventions for drug prevention and harm reduction in response to the use of these drugs should be implemented on the Internet and in recreational settings. Prevention, Information, Action, and Treatment are the main goals that must be addressed for this new potentially addictive problem.

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An integrated pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic study of a new drug of abuse, methylone, a synthetic cathinone sold as "bath salts".

López-Arnau R, Martínez-Clemente J, Carbó ML, Pubill D, Escubedo E, Camarasa J.

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Apr 17.

 

Abstract

Methylone (3,4-methylenedioxymethcathinone) is a new psychoactive substance and an active ingredient of "legal highs" or "bath salts". We studied the pharmacokinetics and locomotor activity of methylone in rats at doses equivalent to those used in humans.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

Methylone was administered to male Sprague-Dawley rats intravenously (10mg/kg) and orally (15 and 30mg/kg). Plasma concentrations and metabolites were characterized by LC/MS and LC-MS/MS fragmentation patterns. Locomotor activity was monitored for 180-240min.

RESULTS:

Oral administration of methylone induced a dose-dependent increase in locomotor activity in rats. The plasma concentrations after i.v. administration were described by a two-compartment model with distribution and terminal elimination phases of α=1.95h-1 and β=0.72h-1. For oral administration, peak methylone concentrations were achieved between 0.5- 1h and fitted to a flip-flop model. Absolute bioavailability was about 80% and the percentage of methylone protein binding was of 30%. A relationship between methylone brain levels and free plasma concentration yielded a ratio of 1.42±0.06, indicating access to the central nervous system. We have identified four Phase I metabolites after oral administration. The major metabolic routes are N-demethylation, aliphatic hydroxylation and O-methylation of a demethylenate intermediate.

DISCUSSION:

Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic analysis of methylone showed a correlation between plasma concentrations and enhancement of the locomotor activity. A contribution of metabolites in the activity of methylone after oral administration is suggested. Present results will be helpful to understand the time course of the effects of this drug of abuse in humans.

 

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Analysis of MDPV in Blood--Determination and Interpretation.

Adamowicz P, Gil D, Skulska A, 

Abstract

3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) is a cathinone derivative. It has recently been classified as a controlled substance in many countries. This substance is a stimulant that can be snorted, smoked or taken orally. MDPV has been determined in biological material from four cases sent to the Institute of Forensic Research in 2011. In the first case, a passenger car crashed into a truck; the driver of the vehicle suffered severe injuries, resulting in his death. In the second case, biological material was obtained from the decedent male individual, who did not wake up after a party. In the two cases, the material was secured on suspicion of the possession of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, in which the suspects admitted to using "legal highs." The MDPV blood concentrations of the deceased driver and deceased man were 38 and 17 ng/mL, respectively. In the two other cases, the determined concentrations were 306 and 124 ng/mL. However, MDPV was not the sole substance detected in these cases: in each, other drugs were also determined. Analyses of blood were conducted using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

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Compartment Syndrome After "Bath Salts" Use: A Case Series.

Levine M, Levitan R, Skolnik A. (2013) Compartment Syndrome After "Bath Salts" Use: A Case Series. Ann Emerg Med.


Abstract

In recent years, synthetic cathinones, often labeled as "bath salts" in an attempt to evade drug laws, have emerged as substances of abuse. Sympathomimetic drugs are well known to cause rhabdomyolysis but are rarely associated with acute compartment syndrome. In this case series, we describe 3 patients who presented with sympathomimetic signs or symptoms including hyperthermia and agitation and had confirmed synthetic cathinone use. All 3 patients had severe rhabdomyolysis with delayed development of an acute compartment syndrome. Two patients developed paraspinal compartment syndromes, whereas 1 developed bilateral forearm compartment syndromes. Management included fasciotomy in 2 patients and medical management in the third. Two of the 3 patients made a complete recovery before hospital discharge; the third patient was hemodialysis dependent at 5-month follow-up.

 

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Increased brain metabolism after acute administration of the synthetic cannabinoid HU210: a small animal PET imaging study with 18F-FDG.

Nguyen VH, Verdurand M, Dedeurwaerdere S, Wang H, Zahra D, Gregoire MC, Zavitsanou K.

Brain Res Bull. 2012 Feb 10;87(2-3):172-9. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2011.11.011. Epub 2011 Dec 1.

 

Abstract

Cannabis use has been shown to alter brain metabolism in both rat models and humans although the observations between both species are conflicting. In the present study, we examined the short term effects of a single-dose injection of the synthetic cannabinoid agonist HU210 on glucose metabolism in the rat brain using small animal (18)F-2-fluoro-deoxyglucose (FDG) Positron Emission Tomography (PET) 15 min (Day 1) and 24h (Day 2) post-injection of the agonist in the same animal. Young adult male Wistar rats received an intra-peritoneal injection of HU210 (100 μg/kg, n=7) or vehicle (n=5) on Day 1. Approximately 1mCi of (18)F-FDG was injected intravenously into each animal at 15 min (Day 1) and 24h (Day 2) post-injection of HU210. A 5-min Computer Tomography (CT) scan followed by a 20-min PET scan was performed 40 min after each (18)F-FDG injection. Standardised Uptake Values (SUVs) were calculated for 10 brain regions of interest (ROIs). Global increased SUVs in the whole brain, hence global brain metabolism, were observed following HU210 treatment on Day 1 compared to the controls (21%, P

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Scientists finding new uses for hallucinogens and street drugs

Scientists finding new uses for hallucinogens and street drugs | novel psychoactive substances | Scoop.it
Janeen Delany describes herself as an "old hippie" who's smoked plenty of marijuana. But she never really dabbled in hallucinogens -- until two years ago, at the age of 59.A diagnosis of incurable...

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Jaid Gilbert's curator insight, December 13, 2013 9:55 AM

"In their next incarnation, these drugs may help the psychologically wounded tune in to their darkest feelings and memories and turn therapy sessions into heightened opportunities to learn and heal."


This quote from the article stood out to me a lot. If we can use hallucinogens to help patients learn and heel, I think it would be worth it. However, they would have to monitor the amount given and be careful not to walk on the thin line of addiction. 

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Party pill safety move due today - National - NZ Herald News

Party pill safety move due today - National - NZ Herald News | novel psychoactive substances | Scoop.it
The Government is expected to announce a new regime for party pills and fake cannabis which will require makers to prove their products are safe before they can be put on the market...

Via Monica Barratt
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MildGreen Initiative's comment, May 7, 2013 6:02 AM
Safer than alcohol? Oh the irony!
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Legal highs 'could trigger psychosis,' say drug experts (Aus)

Legal highs 'could trigger psychosis,' say drug experts (Aus) | novel psychoactive substances | Scoop.it
DRUG users are being urged to be wary of buying harmful "legal high" stimulants over the internet.

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“Spice” Girls: Synthetic Cannabinoid Intoxication

“Spice” Girls: Synthetic Cannabinoid Intoxication | novel psychoactive substances | Scoop.it

Schneir, Aaron B. ; Cullen, Jennifer ; Ly, Binh T. “Spice” Girls: Synthetic Cannabinoid Intoxication. The Journal of Emergency Medicine, 40(3) 296-299.

 

Abstract

“Spice” refers to various synthetic cannabinoid-containing products that seem to have rapidly become popular recreational drugs of abuse. Very little medical literature currently exists detailing the adverse effects and emergency department (ED) presentations associated with “spice” use.

Objectives

To describe the presentation of 2 patients who recreationally used a “spice” product and to briefly summarize what is known about “spice” and synthetic cannabinoids.

Case Report

Two patients presented to the ED with, predominantly, anxiety after recreationally using a “spice” product that we subsequently confirmed to contain the synthetic cannabinoids, JWH-018 and JWH-073.

Conclusion

We suspect that use of “spice” products may increase. Although anxiety was a prominent presentation in both of the patients described here, undoubtedly, future studies will describe the manifestations of intoxication and toxicity with the various synthetic cannabinoids.

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The Legal Highs Problem in the Polish Printed Media-Actors, Claims, and Its Hidden Meanings.

Dąbrowska K, Bujalski M. The Legal Highs Problem in the Polish Printed Media-Actors, Claims, and Its Hidden Meanings.

Subst Use Misuse. 2012 Sep 6.

Abstract

The authors present the results of a qualitative analysis of press articles focused on legal highs in Poland. The aim of analysis was the identification of all social actors involved in the media discourse, the arguments used, and the claims made in the frame of social, political, economical, legal, and moral issues. This analysis covered two major daily newspapers-Gazeta Wyborcza and Rzeczpospolita and two weeklies-Polityka and Newsweek. Articles were collected during a systematic analysis covering the complete number of issues starting from 2008 to 2011. As a result, a base of 386 articles was developed. The study was founded by the statutory budget.

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Comparative neuropharmacology of three psychostimulant cathinone derivatives: butylone, mephedrone and methylone.

Comparative neuropharmacology of three psychostimulant cathinone derivatives: butylone, mephedrone and methylone. | novel psychoactive substances | Scoop.it

López-Arnau R, Martínez-Clemente J, Pubill D, Escubedo E, Camarasa J. Comparative neuropharmacology of three psychostimulant cathinone derivatives: butylone, mephedrone and methylone. Br J Pharmacol. 2012 Sep;167(2):407-20.

 

Abstract
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:
Here, we have compared the neurochemical profile of three new cathinones, butylone, mephedrone and methylone, in terms of their potential to inhibit plasmalemmal and vesicular monoamine transporters. Their interaction with 5-HT and dopamine receptors and their psychostimulant effect was also studied.
EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:
Locomotor activity was recorded in mice following different doses of cathinones. Monoamine uptake assays were performed in purified rat synaptosomes. Radioligand-binding assays were carried out to assess the affinity of these compounds for monoamine transporters or receptors.
KEY RESULTS:
Butylone, mephedrone and methylone (5-25 mg·kg(-1) ) caused hyperlocomotion, which was prevented with ketanserin or haloperidol. Methylone was the most potent compound inhibiting both [(3) H]5-HT and [(3) H]dopamine uptake with IC(50) values that correlate with its affinity for dopamine and 5-HT transporter. Mephedrone was found to be the cathinone derivative with highest affinity for vesicular monoamine transporter-2 causing the inhibition of dopamine uptake. The affinity of cathinones for 5-HT(2A) receptors was similar to that of MDMA.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:
Butylone and methylone induced hyperlocomotion through activating 5-HT(2A) receptors and increasing extra-cellular dopamine. They inhibited 5-HT and dopamine uptake by competing with substrate. Methylone was the most potent 5-HT and dopamine uptake inhibitor and its effect partly persisted after withdrawal. Mephedrone-induced hyperlocomotion was dependent on endogenous 5-HT. Vesicular content played a key role in the effect of mephedrone, especially for 5-HT uptake inhibition. The potency of mephedrone in inhibiting noradrenaline uptake suggests a sympathetic effect of this cathinone.

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Chemical analysis of two new designer drugs: buphedrone and pentedrone.

Chemical analysis of two new designer drugs: buphedrone and pentedrone. | novel psychoactive substances | Scoop.it

Maheux CR, Copeland CR. Chemical analysis of two new designer drugs: buphedrone and pentedrone. Drug Test Anal. 2012 Jan;4(1):17-23. 

 

Abstract
The hydrochloride salts of buphedrone and pentedrone, two new designer drugs, have recently been identified in shipments destined for Canada. To confirm their identities, we have synthesized reference materials for these methcathinone analogues and herein provide complete characterization by FTIR, FT-Raman, ⊃1;H NMR, ⊃1;⊃3;C NMR, GC/MS and ESI-HRMS.

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An analysis of the ‘legal high’ mephedrone.

An analysis of the ‘legal high’ mephedrone. | novel psychoactive substances | Scoop.it

Dariusz Zuba, Identification of cathinones and other active components of ‘legal highs’ by mass spectrometric methods, TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 32, February 2012, Pages 15-30.

 

Abstract: The supply of psychoactive substances has changed and users increasingly buy “legal highs” over the Internet or in specialized shops. Vast arrays of preparations are marketed as legal substitutes to controlled substances. Their analysis has revealed that the majority of active components belong to one of four chemical classes: phenethylamines, tryptamines, piperazines and cathinones, the last being novel.

This article gives special attention to cathinone derivatives and certain characteristic fragmentations based on the GC-EI/MS and LC-ESI/QTOF-MS spectra. The parent ions of these substances are hard to obtain by EI/MS, whereas the protonated molecular ions can be observed clearly by ESI/QTOF-MS. Furthermore, two major characteristic α-cleavages are produced when the EI mode is used, leading to formation of iminium and acylium ions, respectively. These ions can process secondary and tertiary fragmentations, which are very useful in identification. In the case of ESI/QTOF-MS, characteristic fragments are produced via loss of water in cathinones, being secondary amines.

The targeted MS/MS mode allows us to identify structures of many unknown substances with certainty. Nevertheless, in order to determine the location of a substituent in a molecule, it is sometimes necessary to use NMR or FTIR.

Problems found in identifying novel recreational drugs sold as “legal highs” indicate the need for international collaboration and sharing knowledge and analytical data amongst experts from forensic and clinical laboratories.

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Drug abuse: newly-emerging drugs and trends.

Drug abuse: newly-emerging drugs and trends. | novel psychoactive substances | Scoop.it

Davis GG.Clin Lab Med. 2012 Sep;32(3):407-14. doi: 10.1016/j.cll.2012.06.002. Epub 2012 Jun 27

 

Abstract

Drug abusers have access to new, more potent compounds that evade existing laws by virtue of their novel chemical structures. These drugs are available for purchase at stores and over the internet. The drugs are not illegal because they are so new that laws have not yet been passed to ban them. These drugs are leading to emergency department visits for cardiovascular, neurologic, and psychiatric complications. Standard drug screens are not designed to detect these new substances. The internet provides access to drugs for substance abusers but also provides physicians speed of access to the habits of substance abusers.

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Krishna Shah's curator insight, December 7, 2013 3:35 PM

It was interesting to read about what kinds of new drugs are emerging. I wonder what will happen to them in the future with criminal laws and things like that. 

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The novel recreational drug 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) is a potent psychomotor stimulant: self-administration and locomotor activity in rats.


Aarde SM, Huang PK, Creehan KM, Dickerson TJ, Taffe MA. Neuropharmacology. 2013 Apr 15. pii: S0028-3908(13)00140-8

 

Abstract

Recreational use of the cathinone derivative 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV; "bath salts") has increased worldwide in past years, accompanied by accounts of health and legal problems in the popular media and efforts to criminalize possession in numerous jurisdictions. Minimal information exists on the effects of MDPV in laboratory models. This study determined the effects of MDPV, alongside those of the better studied stimulant d-methamphetamine (METH), using rodent models of intravenous self-administration (IVSA), thermoregulation and locomotor activity. Male Wistar rats were trained to self-administer MDPV or METH (0.05 mg/kg/infusion, i.v.) or were prepared with radiotelemetry implants for the assessment of body temperature and activity responses to MDPV or METH (0-5.6 mg/kg s.c.). METH and MDPV were consistently self-administered within 10 training sessions (mg/kg/hour; METH Mean=0.4 and Max = 1.15; MDPV Mean=0.9 and Max = 5.8). Dose-substitution studies demonstrated that behavior was sensitive to dose for both drugs, but MDPV (0.01-0.50 mg/kg/inf) showed greater potency and efficacy than METH (0.1-0.25 mg/kg/inf). In addition, both MDPV and METH increased locomotor activity at lower doses (0.5-1.0 mg/kg, s.c.) and transiently decreased activity at the highest dose (5.6 mg/kg, s.c.). Body temperature increased monotonically with increasing doses of METH but MDPV had a negligible effect on temperature. Stereotypy was associated with relatively high self-administered cumulative doses of MDPV (∼1.5 mg/kg/hr) as well as with non-contingent MDPV administration wherein the intensity and duration of stereotypy increased as MDPV dose increased. Thus, MDPV poses a substantial threat for compulsive use that is potentially greater than that for METH.

 

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Analysis of new classes of recreational drugs in sewage: Synthetic cannabinoids and amphetamine-like substances.

Abstract

The analysis of sewage for the residues of commonly used illicit drugs has successfully been applied as a suitable approach for estimating community illicit drug use. The drug market is increasingly dynamic with new substances continually being marketed for recreational purposes. In this study, ultra-high pressure liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) was used to simultaneously and quantitatively detect the exogenous biomarkers of new classes of recreational drugs in sewage collected from three different Norwegian cities (Oslo, Bergen, Hamar). The samples were screened for the presence of khat (d-norpseudoephedrine and cathinone), mephedrone, pseudoephedrine, 7-aminoflunitrazepam, para-methoxyamphetamine (PMA), para-methoxy-N-methylamphetamine (PMMA) and a selection of urinary metabolites of synthetic cannabinoids collectively termed 'Spice' (5-3-1-naphthoyl-1H-indol-1-yl-pentanoic acid (JWH 018 N-pentanoic acid), 1-5-hydroxypentyl-1H-indol-3-ylnaphthalen-1-yl-methanone (JWH 018 N-5-hydroxypentyl), 4-3-1-naphthoyl-1H-indol-1-yl-butanoic acid (JWH 073 N-butanoic acid), 1-4-hydroxybutyl-1H-indol-3-ylnaphthalen-1-yl-methanone (JWH 073 N-4-hydroxybutyl), 1-5-hydroxypentyl-1H-indol-3-yl4-methylnaphthalen-1-yl-methanone (JWH 122 N-5-hydroxypentyl), 1-5-fluoro-4-hydroxypentyl-1H-indol-3-ylnaphthalen-1-ylmethanone (AM2201 N-4-hydroxypentyl), and 1-5-hydroxypentyl-1H-indol-3-yl4-methoxyphenyl-methanone (RCS-4 N-5-hydroxypentyl)). Limits of detection were 1 ng/L for amphetamine like compounds and 5 ng/L for the metabolites of synthetic cannabinoids while the limits of quantification were 3 and 15 ng/L, respectively. Three of the fourteen selected biomarkers (cathine, pseudoephedrine and the synthetic cannabinoid metabolite JWH-018 N-5-hydroxypentyl) were detected in sewage, alongside the illicit drugs (and/or metabolites) typically found in sewage (cocaine, benzoylecognine, methamphetamine, MDMA, and THC-COOH). The khat biomarker d-norpseudoephedrine was detected in Oslo sewage at a mean concentration of 93 ng/L that represents a daily load of 54 mg/day/1000 inhabitants. Pseudoephedrine was present at mean concentrations of between 27 and 67 ng/L representing normalized daily loads of between 10 (Hamar) and 24 mg/day/1000 inhabitants (Bergen). The daily normalized loads of JWH-018 N-5-hydroxypentyl were between 49 (Oslo) and 62 mg/day/1000 inhabitants (Hamar). This study demonstrates for the first time that sewage biomarker analysis can be applied to evaluate not only the use the traditional illicit drugs (cocaine, cannabis and amphetamines), but also the use of certain new synthetic drugs. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Kronic hysteria: Exploring the intersection between Australian synthetic cannabis legislation, the media, and drug-related harm.

Kronic hysteria: Exploring the intersection between Australian synthetic cannabis legislation, the media, and drug-related harm. | novel psychoactive substances | Scoop.it

Stephen J. Bright, Brian Bishop, Robert Kane, Ali Marsh, Monica J. Barratt, Kronic hysteria: Exploring the intersection between Australian synthetic cannabis legislation, the media, and drug-related harm, International Journal of Drug Policy, Available online 17 January 2013AbstractBackground

Having first appeared in Europe, synthetic cannabis emerged as a drug of concern in Australia during 2011. Kronic is the most well-known brand of synthetic cannabis in Australia and received significant media attention. Policy responses were reactive and piecemeal between state and federal governments. In this paper we explore the relationship between media reports, policy responses, and drug-related harm.

Methods

Google search engine applications were used to produce time–trend graphs detailing the volume of media stories being published online about synthetic cannabis and Kronic, and also the amount of traffic searching for these terms. A discursive analysis was then conducted on those media reports that were identified byGoogle as ‘key stories’. The timing of related media stories was also compared with self-reported awareness and month of first use, using previously unpublished data from a purposive sample of Australian synthetic cannabis users.

Results

Between April and June 2011, mentions of Kronic in the media increased. The number of media stories published online connected strongly with Google searches for the term Kronic. These stories were necessarily framed within dominant discourses that served to construct synthetic cannabis as pathogenic and created a ‘moral panic’. Australian state and federal governments reacted to this moral panic by banning individual synthetic cannabinoid agonists. Manufacturers subsequently released new synthetic blends that they claimed contained new unscheduled chemicals.

Conclusion

Policies implemented within in the context of ‘moral panic’, while well-intended, can result in increased awareness of the banned product and the use of new yet-to-be-scheduled drugs with unknown potential for harm. Consideration of regulatory models should be based on careful examination of the likely intended and unintended consequences. Such deliberation might be limited by the discursive landscape.

  

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» Digital Narcotics May Be the Future of Drugs

» Digital Narcotics May Be the Future of Drugs | novel psychoactive substances | Scoop.it
Technologists will become the next drug dealers, administering narcotics through brain stimulation, according to one researcher.

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Behavioral Responses to Acute and Sub-chronic Administration of the Synthetic Cannabinoid JWH-018 in Adult Mice Prenatally Exposed to Corticosterone.

Behavioral Responses to Acute and Sub-chronic Administration of the Synthetic Cannabinoid JWH-018 in Adult Mice Prenatally Exposed to Corticosterone. | novel psychoactive substances | Scoop.it

Behavioral Responses to Acute and Sub-chronic Administration of the Synthetic Cannabinoid JWH-018 in Adult Mice Prenatally Exposed to Corticosterone.
Macrì S, Lanuzza L, Merola G, Ceci C, Gentili S, Valli A, Macchia T, Laviola G.
Neurotox Res. 2013

Abstract

Recent data indicate that both availability and consumption of synthetic and natural psychoactive substances, marketed under the name of "legal highs", has increased. Among them, the aminoalkylindole-derivative JWH-018 is widely distributed due to its capability of binding the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 thereby mimicking the effects of classical drug agonists. To address whether the behavioral effects of the synthetic compound JWH-018 are similar to those induced by classical cannabinoid agonists, we investigated, in outbred CD1 mice, the consequences of its acute and sub-chronic administration (0, 0.03, 0.1, or 0.3 mg/kg, IP) at the level of body temperature, pain perception, general locomotion, and anxiety. In order to address whether the exposure to precocious stressors-modified individual reactivity to this psychoactive substance, we also investigated its effects in adult mice previously exposed to prenatal stress in the form of corticosterone supplementation in the maternal drinking water (33 or 100 mg/L). In the absence of major effects on motor coordination, JWH-018-reduced body temperature, locomotion and pain reactivity, and increased indices of anxiety. Prenatal corticosterone administration-reduced individual sensitivity to the effects of JWH-018 administration in all the aforementioned parameters. This altered response is not due to variations in JWH-018 metabolism. Present data support the hypothesis that precocious stress may affect, in the long-term, the functional status, and reactivity of the endocannabinoid system.

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Phenomenon of new drugs on the Internet: the case of ketamine derivative methoxetamine.

Phenomenon of new drugs on the Internet: the case of ketamine derivative methoxetamine. | novel psychoactive substances | Scoop.it

Corazza O, Schifano F, Simonato P, Fergus S, Assi S, Stair J, Corkery J, Trincas G, Deluca P, Davey Z, Blaszko U, Demetrovics Z, Moskalewicz J, Enea A, di Melchiorre G, Mervo B, di Furia L, Farre M, Flesland L, Pasinetti M, Pezzolesi C, Pisarska A, Shapiro H, Siemann H, Skutle A, Enea A, di Melchiorre G, Sferrazza E, Torrens M, van der Kreeft P, Zummo D, Scherbaum N. Phenomenon of new drugs on the Internet: the case of ketamine derivative methoxetamine. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2012 Mar;27(2):145-9.

 

Abstract
On the basis of the material available both in the scientific literature and on the web, this paper aims to provide a pharmacological, chemical and behavioural overview of the novel compound methoxetamine. This is a dissociative drug related to ketamine, with a much longer duration of action and intensity of effects. A critical discussion of the availability of information on the web of methoxetamine as a new recreational trend is here provided. Those methodological limitations, which are intrinsically associated with the analysis of online, non-peer reviewed, material, are here discussed as well. It is concluded that the online availability of information on novel psychoactive drugs, such as methoxethanine, may constitute a pressing public health challenge. Better international collaboration levels and novel forms of intervention are necessary to tackle this fast-growing phenomenon.

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Legal Highs- What You Need to Know (UK)

Legal Highs- What You Need to Know (UK) | novel psychoactive substances | Scoop.it

Overall drug deaths are going down, but latest figures reveal ‘Legal High’ related deaths are going up (from just five in 2009 to 43 in a year). We talk to the newest breed of users and dealers


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Synthetic cannabis: A comparison of patterns of use and effect profile with natural cannabis in a large global sample.

Synthetic cannabis: A comparison of patterns of use and effect profile with natural cannabis in a large global sample. | novel psychoactive substances | Scoop.it

Adam R. Winstocka, Monica J. Barrattc, 

 

Abstract

The last decade has seen the appearance of myriad novel psychoactive substances with diverse effect profiles. Synthetic cannabinoids are among the most recently identified but least researched of these substances.

Methods

An anonymous online survey was conducted in 2011 using a quantitative structured research tool. Missing data (median 2%) were treated by available-case analysis.

Results

Of 14,966 participants, 2513 (17%) reported use of synthetic cannabis. Of these, 980 (41% of 2417) reported its use in the last 12 months. Almost all recent synthetic cannabis users (99% of 975) reported ever use of natural cannabis. Synthetic cannabis reportedly had both a shorter duration of action (z = 17.82, p < .001) and quicker time to peak onset of effect (z = −9.44, p < .001) than natural cannabis. Natural cannabis was preferred to synthetic cannabis by 93% of users, with natural cannabis rated as having greater pleasurable effects when high (t(930) = −37.1, p < .001, d = −1.22) and being more able to function after use (t(884) = −13.3, p < .001, d = −0.45). Synthetic cannabis was associated with more negative effects (t(859) = 18.7, p < .001, d = 0.64), hangover effects (t(854) = 6.45, p < .001, d = 0.22) and greater paranoia (t(889) = 7.91, p < .001, d = 0.27).

Conclusions

Users report a strong preference for natural over synthetic cannabis. The latter has a less desirable effect profile. Further research is required to determine longer term consequences of use and comparative dependence potential.

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Synthetic cannabis and respiratory depression

Synthetic cannabis and respiratory depression | novel psychoactive substances | Scoop.it

Jinwala FN, Gupta M. Synthetic cannabis and respiratory depression.
J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2012 Dec;22(6):459-62.

Abstract
In recent years, synthetic cannabis use has been increasing in appeal among adolescents, and its use is now at a 30 year peak among high school seniors. The constituents of synthetic cannabis are difficult to monitor, given the drug's easy accessibility. Currently, 40 U.S. states have banned the distribution and use of some known synthetic cannabinoids, and have included these drugs in the Schedule I category. The depressive respiratory effect in humans caused by synthetic cannabis inhalation has not been thoroughly investigated in the medical literature. We are the first to report, to our knowledge, two cases of self-reported synthetic cannabis use leading to respiratory depression and necessary intubation.

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Long-term cognitive and neurochemical effects of "bath salt" designer drugs methylone and mephedrone.

den Hollander B, Rozov S, Linden AM, Uusi-Oukari M, Ojanperä I, Korpi ER. Long-term cognitive and neurochemical effects of "bath salt" designer drugs methylone and mephedrone. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2012 Oct 22;103(3):501-509.

 

Abstract
INTRODUCTION/AIMS:
The use of cathinone-derivative designer drugs methylone and mephedrone has increased rapidly in recent years. Our aim was to investigate the possible long-term effects of these drugs on a range of behavioral tests in mice. Further, we investigated the long-term effects of these drugs on brain neurochemistry in both rats and mice.
METHODS:
We treated animals with a binge-like regimen of methylone or mephedrone (30mg/kg, twice daily for 4days) and, starting 2weeks later, we performed behavioral tests of memory, anxiety and depression and measured brain levels of dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT), their metabolites and norepinephrine (NE). 5-HT and DA transporter (5-HTT and DAT) levels were also measured in rats by [(3)H]paroxetine and [(3)H]mazindol binding.
RESULTS:
Mephedrone reduced working memory performance in the T-maze spontaneous alternation task but did not affect neurotransmitter levels aside from a 22% decrease in striatal homovanillic acid (HVA) levels in mice. Methylone had little effect on behavior or neurotransmitter levels in mice but produced a widespread depletion of 5-HT and 5-HTT levels in rats.
CONCLUSIONS:
Both methylone and mephedrone appeared to have a long-term effect on either behavioral or biochemical gauges of neurotoxicity in rodents.

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Analysis of psychoactive and intoxicating substances in legal highs.12] - PubMed - NCBI

Analysis of psychoactive and intoxicating substances in legal highs.12] - PubMed - NCBI | novel psychoactive substances | Scoop.it

Żukiewicz-Sobczak W, Zwoliński J, Chmielewska-Badora J, Krasowska E, Piątek J, Sobczak P, Wojtyła A, Fornal E, Kuczumow A, Biliński P. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2012;19(2):309-14.

 

Abstract

"Legal highs" known also as "smarts", "legal drugs" or "boosters" contain in their composition psychoactive substances the production, sale and possession of which are not prohibited in legislation. They are offered for sale under the cover of collectors' items, a salt bath, aroma sticks, or plant fertilizer. Marketing was the reason for such high sales of these "highs" in Poland. The phenomenon became of concern when information became available about the first cases of tragic health consequences. Raising the awareness of youth about the level of imminent danger and serious consequences associated with the use of legal highs may be a very effective way to develop appropriate attitudes of young people, and in the light of their own health can help them take proper life decisions."Legal highs" are substances of natural or synthetic origin having psychostimulating properties. These compounds may differ in chemical structure, potency, half-life, metabolism and severity of side effects. Their pharmacological activity is associated with changes in the neurotransmitter system. After higher doses of "legal highs" psychotic symptoms may occur: visual and auditory hallucinations resembling schizophrenic endogenous psychoses. An alarming fact is the underestimation of the adverse effect of these substances on human health. Any actions aimed at improving this situation are extremely important; therefore, in one of the key projects undertaken at the Institute of Rural Health in Lublin, in cooperation with other scientific institutes, concerned the analysis of a selected series of "legal highs". This research was meant top serve as a source of information for science and medicine, and for popularizing knowledge about legal highs.

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Analysis of psychoactive and intoxicating substances in legal highs.12] - PubMed - NCBI

Analysis of psychoactive and intoxicating substances in legal highs.12] - PubMed - NCBI | novel psychoactive substances | Scoop.it

Żukiewicz-Sobczak W, Zwoliński J, Chmielewska-Badora J, Krasowska E, Piątek J, Sobczak P, Wojtyła A, Fornal E, Kuczumow A, Biliński P. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2012;19(2):309-14.

 

Abstract

"Legal highs" known also as "smarts", "legal drugs" or "boosters" contain in their composition psychoactive substances the production, sale and possession of which are not prohibited in legislation. They are offered for sale under the cover of collectors' items, a salt bath, aroma sticks, or plant fertilizer. Marketing was the reason for such high sales of these "highs" in Poland. The phenomenon became of concern when information became available about the first cases of tragic health consequences. Raising the awareness of youth about the level of imminent danger and serious consequences associated with the use of legal highs may be a very effective way to develop appropriate attitudes of young people, and in the light of their own health can help them take proper life decisions."Legal highs" are substances of natural or synthetic origin having psychostimulating properties. These compounds may differ in chemical structure, potency, half-life, metabolism and severity of side effects. Their pharmacological activity is associated with changes in the neurotransmitter system. After higher doses of "legal highs" psychotic symptoms may occur: visual and auditory hallucinations resembling schizophrenic endogenous psychoses. An alarming fact is the underestimation of the adverse effect of these substances on human health. Any actions aimed at improving this situation are extremely important; therefore, in one of the key projects undertaken at the Institute of Rural Health in Lublin, in cooperation with other scientific institutes, concerned the analysis of a selected series of "legal highs". This research was meant top serve as a source of information for science and medicine, and for popularizing knowledge about legal highs.

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