1A02, 2C01, 3C00
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Key points

  • The recreational use of novel psychoactive substances (NPSs) is a growing public health concern especially amongst young adults.

  • NPSs may be labelled as other products, such as ‘Bath salts’, or sold ‘not for human consumption’.

  • NPSs are often created by small alterations to chemical structures. This may, however, incur significant changes in their pharmacology.

  • Synthetic cathinones can present with life-threatening complications of the sympathomimetic and serotonergic toxidromes.

  • Synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist use may result in a sympathomimetic toxidrome.

The recreational use of novel psychoactive substances (NPSs) is a growing public health concern. Until recently, these brightly coloured and ‘branded’ substances (Fig. 1) were readily available from retail outlets known as ‘head shops’ or the internet. In...

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