New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)

New or novel psychoactive substances and "legal highs," including synthetic cannabinoids, mephedrone, ketamine, and more

Emergency Room Visits Related to NPS Use

(Emergency Room Visits Related to NPS Use) "In the United States, the first report on synthetic cannabinoids from the Drug Abuse Warning Network revealed that an estimated 11,406 visits of the approximately 2,300,000 emergency department visits that involved drug use in 2010 were specifically linked to synthetic cannabinoids. Three quarters of these emergency department visits involved patients aged 12 to 29 (75 percent or 8,557 visits), of which 78 percent were male, and in the majority (59 percent) of these cases, no other substances were involved.

Description of Kratom

(Description of Kratom) "Street names for kratom include ‘thang’, ‘kakuam’, ‘thom’, ‘ketum’ and ‘biak’. Kratom leaves are usually consumed fresh, although dried leaves in powder form are also available. The fresh leaves are chewed while the powder form is often either swallowed or brewed into tea. Dried leaves are rarely smoked."

Reported Adverse Effects of Khat

(Reported Adverse Effects of Khat) "It has been estimated that a typical chewing session of khat results in the absorption of its active constituents with an activity equivalent to that of approximately 5 mg of amphetamine.81 The pharmacological effects of khat resemble those of amphetamine use, and includes increased alertness, euphoria, hyperthermia, anorexia, increased respiration rate, heart rate and blood pressure.82

Description of Khat

(Description of Khat) "Street names for khat include ‘qat’, ‘gat’, ‘chat’, ‘miraa’, ‘murungu’ and ‘Arabian or Abyssinian tea’. Due to the degradation of cathinone, khat leaves need to be consumed soon after harvesting and therefore fresh leaves of khat are the preferred form of use, but dried leaves (‘graba’) are also available. Khat is usually consumed by chewing the leaves and shoots of the plant, but infusions are also possible. Recently, alcoholic extracts of khat sold as ‘herbal highs’ have been reported.80"

Reported Adverse Effects of Piperazines

(Reported Adverse Effects of Piperazines) "Information on the toxicological aspects of many piperazines listed in this group remain limited. Further research is required to provide evidence on short and long term health-effects associated with the use of these substances. Current knowledge comes from user reports, studies in animals, limited human studies, and clinical observations.

Description of Piperazines

(Description of Piperazines) "Piperazines are frequently sold as ‘ecstasy’. Some of the generic names for these substances include, ‘pep pills’, ‘social tonics’ or simply ‘party pills’. The latter term was used to commercialize BZP in New Zealand.64 Other street names include Jax, A2, Benny Bear, Flying Angel, Legal E or Legal X, and Pep X, Pep Love or Nemesis.65 MCPP is known as 3CPP, 3C1-PP or CPP.

Reported Adverse Effects of Phenethylamines

(Reported Adverse Effects of Phenethylamines) "Phenethylamines included in the ‘D series’ are described to be longer lasting, more potent and reportedly more liable to induce vasoconstriction than other members of the phenethylamine family.49 Reported adverse effects associated with the use of the ‘D series’ derivatives include agitation, tachycardia, mydriasis, hallucinations, severe limb ischemia, seizures, liver and renal failure.50 Bromo-Dragonfly has also been associated with a number of deaths in Scandinavia.51 A case of