Identification and treatment of synthetic ("club") drug intoxications

3.4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), ketamine, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and flunitrazepam are the most popular synthetic drugs used at parties. They are occasionally and mostly used by inexperienced teenagers to enhance their feelings, reduce inhibitions, alter the state of consciousness and increase energy, which is released in an enjoyable manner during intensive dancing. MDMA is most frequently distributed in tablets and has stimulating and hallucinogenic properties. Beside inducing a heightened mood and feeling of closeness, it causes neurodegenerative changes in the brain and numerous harmful consequences, even death. Although GHB, ketamine and flunitrazepam are not as popular as MDMA, they are also a significant problem. Besides the sedating, opioid and euphoric properties, they are used to facilitate sexual abuse and are popularly called "rape drugs". They cause numerous and dangerous side effects. If used long enough and in proper doses, they lead to the development of tolerance and withdrawal syndrome in attempts to quit taking them. The frequency of synthetic drug use is increasing, especially among teenagers. With this article we want to warn about this problem, help recognize the signs of intoxication and to outline the proper treatment. Secured airway, breathing and circulation, together with other supportive measures and monitoring in Intensive Care Units are the most important way of treatment.

– adverse effects; SODIUM OXYBATE – adverse effects; KETAMINE – adverse effects; FLUNITRAZEPAM – adverse effects
Category: Original scientific paper
Volume: Vol. 51, No 1, january - march 2007
Authors: M. Martinac, J. Markić, D. Karlović, J. Meštrović
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