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See detailThe effects and risks associated to mephedrone and methylone in humans: A review of the preliminary evidences.
Karila, Laurent; Billieux, Joël UL; Benyamina, Amine et al

in Brain research bulletin (2016), 126(Pt 1), 61-67

New psychoactive substances have drastically modified the world drug scene. An increasingly popular class comprises synthetic or substituted cathinones (legal highs, research chemicals, bath salts). Among ... [more ▼]

New psychoactive substances have drastically modified the world drug scene. An increasingly popular class comprises synthetic or substituted cathinones (legal highs, research chemicals, bath salts). Among the most common psychoactive constituents of bath salts are mephedrone and methylone. Recent reports on the abuse of novel synthetic cathinone derivatives call attention to the serious physical and psychological risks resulting from their consumption, thereby emphasizing the growing use of these drugs might constitute an important public health issue. In this paper, we will review the available data regarding the use and effects of mephedrone and methylone in humans in order to highlight their impact on public health. To reach this objective, a literature search was performed on two representative databases (Pubmed, Google Scholar), the Erowid Center website (a US non-profit educational organization that provides information about psychoactive plants and chemicals), and various governmental websites. The terms used for the database search were "mephedrone", "methylone", "new psychoactive substances", "synthetic cathinones", "substituted cathinones", "substance abuse", "substance use disorder", "adverse effects", "fatalities". The literature search was limited to years 2005-2015 and led to the identification of 71 potentially relevant articles. To date, the actual prevalence rates of their use remains difficult to estimate. Important health-related issues have emerged in relation to the somatic, psychiatric, and addictive consequences of their use. The potential chronic health effects of their prolonged use remain to date unknown (e.g., reproductive toxicity, genotoxicity and carcinogenic potential). Treatment for patients with prolonged exposure to synthetic cathinones should ideally include a drug management plan coupled with psychotherapy taking place in a structured program of care. [less ▲]

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See detailThe synthetic cannabinoids phenomenon
Karila, Laurent; Benyamina, Amine; Blecha, L et al

in Current Pharmaceutical Design (2016), 22(42), 6420-6425

« Spice » is generally used to describe the diverse types of herbal blends that encompass synthetic cannabinoids on the market. The emergence of smokable herbal products containing synthetic cannabinoids ... [more ▼]

« Spice » is generally used to describe the diverse types of herbal blends that encompass synthetic cannabinoids on the market. The emergence of smokable herbal products containing synthetic cannabinoids, which mimic the effects of cannabis, appears to become increasingly popular, in the new psychoactive substances landscape. In 2014, the existence of 134 different types of synthetic cannabinoids were reported by the European Union Early Warning System. These drugs are mainly sold online as an alternative to controlled and regulated psychoactive substances. They appear to have a life cycle of about 1-2 years before being replaced by a next wave of products. Legislation controlling these designer drugs has been introduced in many countries with the objective to limit the spread of existing drugs and control potential new analogs. The majority of the synthetic cannabinoids are full agonists at the CB1 receptor and do not contain tobacco or cannabis. They are becoming increasingly popular in adolescents, students and clubbers as an abused substance. Relatively high incidence of adverse effects associated with synthetic cannabinoids use has been documented in the literature. Numerous fatalities linked with their use and abuse have been reported. In this paper, we will review the available data regarding the use and effects of synthetic cannabinoids in humans in order to highlight their impact on public health. To reach this objective, a literature search was performed on two representative databases (Pubmed, Google Scholar), the Erowid Center website (a US non-profit educational organization that provides information about psychoactive plants and chemicals), and various governmental websites. The terms used for the database search were: "synthetic cannabinoids", "spice", "new psychoactive substances", and/or "substance use disorder", and/or "adverse effects", and/or "fatalities". The search was limited to years 2005 to 2016 due to emerging scientific literature at this period Health professionals should take into account that limited scientific evidence is available regarding the effect of synthetic cannabinoids use in humans. It thus urges to launch more systematic epidemiological studies, to develop and validate screening procedures, and to investigate the neurobiological and psychological correlates and risk factors associated to synthetic cannabinoids use and misuse. [less ▲]

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See detailSexual addiction or hypersexual disorder: different terms for the same problem? A review of the literature.
Karila, Laurent; Wery, Aline; Weinstein, Aviv et al

in Current pharmaceutical design (2014), 20(25), 4012-20

Sexual addiction, which is also known as hypersexual disorder, has largely been ignored by psychiatrists, even though the condition causes serious psychosocial problems for many people. A lack of ... [more ▼]

Sexual addiction, which is also known as hypersexual disorder, has largely been ignored by psychiatrists, even though the condition causes serious psychosocial problems for many people. A lack of empirical evidence on sexual addiction is the result of the disease's complete absence from versions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. However, people who were categorized as having a compulsive, impulsive, addictive sexual disorder or a hypersexual disorder reported having obsessive thoughts and behaviors as well as sexual fantasies. Existing prevalence rates of sexual addiction-related disorders range from 3% to 6%. Sexual addiction/ hypersexual disorder is used as an umbrella construct to encompass various types of problematic behaviors, including excessive masturbation, cybersex, pornography use, sexual behavior with consenting adults, telephone sex, strip club visitation, and other behaviors. The adverse consequences of sexual addiction are similar to the consequences of other addictive disorders. Addictive, somatic and psychiatric disorders coexist with sexual addiction. In recent years, research on sexual addiction has proliferated, and screening instruments have increasingly been developed to diagnose or quantify sexual addiction disorders. In our systematic review of the existing measures, 22 questionnaires were identified. As with other behavioral addictions, the appropriate treatment of sexual addiction should combine pharmacological and psychological approaches. Psychiatric and somatic comorbidities that frequently occur with sexual addiction should be integrated into the therapeutic process. Group-based treatments should also be attempted. [less ▲]

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