Scientific article
Publication Date
Published by / Citation
Shafi, A., Berry, A. J., Sumnall, H., Wood, D. M., & Tracy, D. K. (2020). New psychoactive substances: a review and updates. Therapeutic advances in psychopharmacology, 10, 2045125320967197.
New Psychoactive Substances

New psychoactive substances: A review and updates

New psychoactive substances (NPS) are a diverse group of substances that are linked with a number of health and social harms on an individual and societal level. NPS toxicity and dependence syndromes are recognised in primary care, emergency departments, psychiatric inpatient and community care settings.

One pragmatic classification system is to divide NPS into one of four groups: synthetic stimulants, synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic hallucinogens and synthetic depressants (which include synthetic opioids and benzodiazepines).

This review explores these four classes of NPS, including their chemical structures, mechanism of action, modes of use, intended intoxicant effects, and their associated physical and mental health harms. 

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