Various NPS have significantly changed the picture of drug use in different countries. They are now very prominent in the drug market. Indeed, many of these substances are intended to circumvent drug laws and are sold as ‘legal’ replacements for cannabis, heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, MDMA and benzodiazepines.
To increase their availability and attractiveness, they are marketed as “legal highs”, “research chemicals”, and “food supplements”. However the reality is that NPS are highly linked to physical and mental health harms, including fatal poisoning and the spread of drug-related infections.
The webinars will highlight this emerging issue in many societies. Experienced professionals will provide updates on the types of NPS being used, their mechanisms of action, modes of use, intended intoxicant effects, associated physical and mental health harms, and will give recommendations on their management and prevention related responses.
Webinar 2: New Psychoactive Substances (NPS): Synthetic Hallucinogens/ Synthetic Depressants
The Second Webinar was hosted by ISSUP Pakistan and focus on Synthetic Hallucinogens/ Synthetic Depressants. Synthetic hallucinogens are derived from phenethylamine, which is altered in a laboratory to create effects that mimic those of natural hallucinogens. The most common of these are known as the 2C and are from the NBOMe family. Synthetic hallucinogens often being passed off as LSD and have resulted in deaths and other serious health issues.
Synthetic depressants - synthetic benzodiazepines and synthetic opiates are man-made drugs that mimic the effects of natural opioids, such as opium and heroin. They can prolong the intensity and duration of the opioid effects and be associated with dangerous side effects.
'Recent changes in recreational drug scenarios; synthetic hallucinogens and synthetic depressants: clinical pharmacological and psychopathological issues'
Fabrizio Schifano, Professor, MD, FRCPsych, Chair in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Consultant Psychiatrist, University of Hertfordshire, Psychopharmacology, Drug Misuse and Novel Psychoactive Substances Research Unit, School of Life and Medical Sciences, UK.
'Synthetic Hallucinogens and Synthetic Depressants: Trends in Pakistan'
Dr. Syed Azhar Ali Kazmi, Consultant Psychiatrist, Head Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Poonch Medical College/CMH Rawalakot. Provincial Secretary Pakistan Psychiatric Society AJK.