New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)

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

Potential for Abuse or Dependence of Salvia Divinorum

(Potential for Abuse or Dependence of Salvia Divinorum) "There was little evidence of dependence in our survey population. At some point, 0.6% (3 people) felt addicted to or dependent upon SD, while 1.2% (6) reported strong cravings for SD. The DSM-IV-R psychiatric diagnostic system in the United States classifies people as drug dependent based on seven criteria. Of the three who reported feelings of addiction or dependence on SD, only one endorsed any DSM-IV criteria (strong cravings and using more SD than planned).

Effects of Salvia Divinorum

(Effects of Salvia Divinorum) "The putative primary psychoactive agent in SD [Salvia divinorum] is a structurally novel KOR [kappa opioid receptor] agonist named salvinorin A (Ortega et al., 1982; Valdés et al., 1984). Consistent with KOR agonist activity, users describe SD in lay literature as hallucinogenic: it produces perceptual distortions, pseudo-hallucinations, and a profoundly altered sense of self and environment, including out-of-body experiences (Aardvark, 1998; Erowid, 2008; Siebert, 1994b; Turner, 1996).

Effects of Salvia Divinorum

(Effects of Salvia Divinorum) "Consistent with results from nonhuman animal research (Mowry et al.,2003), the present results suggest a safe physiological profile for salvinorin A at the studied doses, under controlled conditions, and in psychologically and physically healthy hallucinogen-experienced participants. Salvinorin A produced no significant changes in heart rate or blood pressure; no tremor was observed; and no adverse events were reported. Participants tolerated all doses.

The Emergence of 'Krokodil'

"In the last three to five years an increasing number of reports suggest that people who inject drugs (PWID) in Russia, Ukraine and other countries are no longer using poppies or raw opium as their starting material, but turning to over-the-counter medications that contain codeine (e.g. Solpadeine, Codterpin or Codelac). Codeine is reportedly converted into desomorphine (UNODC, 2012; Gahr et al., 2012a, 2012b, 2012c; Skowronek, Celinski, & Chowaniec, 2012).

Prevalence of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) Among US Youth

Prevalence of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) Among US Youth: "In the United States, there are indications of an increase in NPS use among certain user groups between 2009 and 2013; the prevalence of lifetime use of a 'novel psychoactive substance' among the population aged 12-34 was 1.2 per cent in 2013.235 There are signs of declining use of synthetic cannabinoids among secondary school students in the United States.

Description of Kratom

"Mitragyna speciosa Korth (of the Rubiaceae family) is a large tree found in tropical and sub-tropical regions of South-East Asia. In Thailand, the tree known as ‘Kratom’ is found throughout the country but predominantly in the southern region, although the growing and harvesting is prohibited.

Background on Khat

"The khat shrub (Catha edulis) of the celastraceae family is a plant native to the horn of Africa and the Arabian peninsula. Khat chewing is a social custom in the communities living in these areas. The psychoactive effects resulting from the release of cathinone and cathine alkaloids after chewing of khat are well-documented.78 The khat shrub became known to Europeans in the late 18th century and in the 19th century, and the active constituents of the plant were isolated in the 19th and 20th century.

Mephedrone and Synthetic Cathinones

"Cathinone and its derivatives are closely related to the phenethylamine family (which includes amphetamine and methamphetamine), but with a lower potency than the latter.13 They are characterised by the presence of a ?-keto group on the side chain of the phenethylamines. Cathinone, the principal active ingredient in the leaves of the khat plant (catha edulis), can be considered as the prototype from which a range of synthetic cathinones have been developed.