Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) & the UK Armed Forces: A Phantom Menace?

Research Paper Title

Phantom menace: novel psychoactive substances and the UK Armed Forces.

Abstract

Novel psychoactive substances (NPS) encompass a large group of synthesised compounds specifically designed to mimic traditional recreational drugs.

Current UK Armed Forces compulsory drug testing does not screen for these substances, making them tempting to the small proportion of UK Armed Forces personnel who indulge in recreational drug use.

The acute and chronic sequelae of NPS misuse are widely variable and associated with high morbidity. In this paper, the authors discuss NPS pharmacology and clinical presentation.

They describe toxidromes and management of patients who have misused NPS. Finally, they reflect on the legal, ethical and military consequences of NPS misuse for both the service person misusing NPS and the Military Physician providing their care.

Reference

Hunter, A.H., Ayres, T., Moreland, N. & Cox, A. (2018) Phantom menace: novel psychoactive substances and the UK Armed Forces. Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps. 164(6):450-457. doi: 10.1136/jramc-2018-000927. Epub 2018 Jun 22.

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