The ‘NPS’- new psychoactive substances - Clinical presentations and managment recommendations

Alexandra Serpe, Mathieu Bonnet, Germain Laubier, Magdalini Polikipis, Marie Belleflamme Published in the journal : May 2021 Category : Emergency

Summary :

Over the past twenty years, the European drug market has turned out to become more complex because of the emergence of new psychoactive substances (N.P.S). The N.P.S designation refers to new synthetic drugs that are designed to mimic the effects of the so-called standard drugs, such as heroin, cannabis, cocaine, as well as others. Though being similar, the clinical features of N.P.S are inherently more complex to deal with because of their ability to act on different receptor types.

The treatment remains symptomatic owing to the lack of antidotes or quick identification tests. The identification, evaluation, and evolution of the patient at risk of instability primarily guide the treatment.

What is already known about the topic?

The new psychoactive synthetic substances (N.P.S) are novel recreative drugs that are synthesized from traditional drugs. Though they are still poorly known, they are currently attracting the attention among healthcare providers because of their complex clinical presentation and high toxicity potential.

What does this article bring up for us?

This article depicts new synthetic drugs based on current scientific knowledge. The increasing consumption rate in Europe, differences between N.P.S and traditional drugs, and optimal management by the clinicians will similarly be discussed.

Key Words

New synthetic drugs, designer drugs, legal highs, clinical presentation, treatment, management