Home > Editorial: Mephedrone and ‘head/hemp’ shop drugs: a clinical and biochemical ‘heads up’.

O'Domhnail, Sean and Ni Cheirigh, Caoimhe (2011) Editorial: Mephedrone and ‘head/hemp’ shop drugs: a clinical and biochemical ‘heads up’. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 28, (1), S2-S3.

Reports of attacks in 2010 by persons unknown upon the so-called ‘head’ shops in Dublin and other cities and towns, combined with open picketing of such shops nationwide amid intense media reportage, support the clinical experience of increased presentation of the drugs known as ‘Head/hemp shop’ drugs in the medical domain nationwide.

Case reports relating to the psychiatric sequelae of the consumption of these drugs are currently in preparation (personal correspondence). It is important that primary care physicians, the emergency services and psychiatric specialists realise that they need to consider these drugs in the presentation of new cases with drug-induced psychoses and/or acute suicidal dysphoria. While these drugs are now detectable using tests for their presence/absence, the reagents and equipment for recognising these drugs is only present in specialist treatment centres for drug abuse. They must be considered in the differential diagnosis of the atypical clinical syndromes presenting to general hospital emergency departments and psychiatric unit assessment units in the future using the experience of their presentation over the past 18 months.

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