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Home > The emergence of New Psychoactive Substance (NPS) benzodiazepines. A survey of their prevalence in opioid substitution patients using LC-MS.

McNamara, Sinead and Stokes, Siobhan and Nolan, J (2019) The emergence of New Psychoactive Substance (NPS) benzodiazepines. A survey of their prevalence in opioid substitution patients using LC-MS. Irish Medical Journal , 112 , (7) , pp. 970-976.

URL: http://imj.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/The-Emerg...


Benzodiazepines have a wide range of clinical uses being among the most commonly prescribed medicines globally. The EU Early Warning System on new psychoactive substances (NPS) has over recent years detected new illicit benzodiazepines in Europe’s drug market1. Additional reference standards were obtained and a multi-residue LC-MS method was developed to test for 31 benzodiazepines or metabolites in urine including some new benzodiazepines which have been classified as New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) which comprise a range of substances, including synthetic cannabinoids, opioids, cathinones and benzodiazepines not covered by international drug controls.

 

200 urine samples from patients attending the HSE National Drug Treatment Centre (NDTC) who are monitored on a regular basis for drug and alcohol use and which tested positive for benzodiazepine class drugs by immunoassay screening were subjected to confirmatory analysis to determine what Benzodiazepine drugs were present and to see if etizolam or other new benzodiazepines are being used in the addiction population currently.

 

Benzodiazepine prescription and use is common in the addiction population. Of significance we found evidence of consumption of an illicit new psychoactive benzodiazepine, Etizolam.

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