Annals of Indian Psychiatry

: 2019  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 86--91

New psychoactive substances: An emerging epidemic

Kranti Kadam 
 Department of Psychiatry, Seth GSMC and KEMH, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kranti Kadam
Department of Psychiatry, Seth GSMC and KEMH, Mumbai, Maharashtra

New psychoactive substances (NPSs) are growing at an alarming rate causing a threat to the public health. They are available online or in head shops and come with variety of street names across the cities, states, and countries. NPSs are prepared in the laboratories either by tweaking or altering the chemical structure of existing substances such as cannabis and ecstasy. They are cheap, easy to obtain, and difficult to be detected by traditional drug screening methods. It has become very challenging to detect them within the clinical settings because of the fast rate of their availability and their constant changing structure. Their purity as well as pharmacology and toxic effects are still not known. These drugs cause major life-threatening complications, which is worrisome. The legal status of these drugs is ambiguous. The laws are complex, changing, are not well defined to control or regulate their use which is a major setback. As many clinicians are unaware of the existence of such drugs, the identification and management of withdrawal syndrome and overdose become difficult. There is a need to create awareness regarding the risks and the health hazards caused by these novel substances as well as to develop and design new prevention approaches that are able to attract the attention of the young population.

How to cite this article:
Kadam K. New psychoactive substances: An emerging epidemic.Ann Indian Psychiatry 2019;3:86-91

How to cite this URL:
Kadam K. New psychoactive substances: An emerging epidemic. Ann Indian Psychiatry [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Sep 29 ];3:86-91
Available from:;year=2019;volume=3;issue=2;spage=86;epage=91;aulast=Kadam;type=0