ISSUP welcomes all members and colleagues involved in the drug demand reduction field to join our new webinar initiative – a series on New Psychoactive Substances (NPS).
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 1: New Psychoactive Substances (NPS): Synthetic Stimulants/ Synthetic Cannabinoids
Synthetic stimulants - cathinones, or also known as “Bath salts” (Alpha-PHP, 4-CMC, N-ethylhexedrone, other) mirror the same effects of illicit drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA. These synthetic chemicals in bath salts are very toxic and highly addictive. Their consumption is linked to increases in visits to emergency rooms and poison control centers (https://archives.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/bath-salts-emerging-danger).
Synthetic cannabinoids (“synthetic marijuana,” “Spice,” “K2”) are various man made chemicals that some people may use as an alternative to marijuana. It is usually sold in 'herbal' smoking mixtures. Synthetic cannabinoids are more potent than natural cannabis, and, therefore, easier to use too much. This make the use of these products potentially very harmful and even life threatening.
'Synthetic Stimulants' - Aviv Weinstein, Professor, Department of Psychology and Behavioral Science, The Isadore and Ruth Kastin Chair for Brain Research University of Ariel, Israel
'Synthetic Cannabinoids' - Dr. Joe Pierre, Health Sciences Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, U.S.
'The Challenges in Diagnosing and Treating the Patient - Indonesia Perspective' - Dr. Carla Lusikooy, Senior Psychiatrist in Jakarta Drug Dependence Hospital, Indonesia