New Psychoactive Substances: Risks and Challenges

Soria Sanchez Ma. Luisa*

New Psychoactive Substances: Risks and Challenges.

Previously, Baumann and Volkow3 said that, although NPS can elicit subjective effects that resemble their progenitors, potential off-target sites of action are unknown and adverse medical consequences are common. Also, many of the case reports of intoxication are due to a combination of drugs and the lack of information concerning tolerance, routes of administration, dosage and sudden drug withdrawal syndrome meaning that reliable and accurate interpretation of NPS concentrations is not possible. A study published in the Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences in 2016 concerning the prevalence of new psychoactive substances in the Victorian fatally-injured drivers, reported that consumption of NPS can lead to a variety of psychological and physiological effects and these effects may last for a few to several hours post dosage

In comparison to the classical controlled drugs, there are a lesser number of fatal cases reported and a limited amount of data available relevant in terms of examining the metabolism and toxicity caused due to NPS. The novel substances are typically not detectable with the usual drug of abuse immunoassays. It is therefore possible that they contribute towards acute toxicities and medical complications, or even deaths, by escaping detection.

As reported by Lobo et al5 sometimes the combination of different analytical techniques as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, gas-chromatography–mass-spectrometry (GC-MS), fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), high-resolution tandem mass-spectrometry (HR-MS/MS) and chemoinformatic tools, is necessary in order to confirm the true identity of these substances.

Toxicol Forensic Med Open J. 2017; 2(2): 39-40. doi: 10.17140/TFMOJ-2-117