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New synthetic opioids: Part of a new addiction landscape
New synthetic opioids: Part of a new addiction landscape

Synthetic opioids (SO) are a major risk for public health across the world. These drugs can be divided into 2 categories, pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical fentanyls. A new generation of SO has emerged on the drug market since 2010. North America is currently facing an opioid epidemic of morbi-mortality, caused by overprescription of opioids, illegally diverted prescribed medicines, the increasing use of heroin and the emergence of SO. Furthermore, this opioid crisis is also seen in Europe. SO are new psychoactive substances characterized by different feature such as easy availability on the Internet, low price, purity, legality, and lack of detection in laboratory tests. They have not been approved or are not recommended for human use. Opioid misuse is associated with somatic and psychiatric complications. For many substances, limited pharmacological information is available, increasing the risk of harmful adverse events. Health actors and the general population need to be clearly informed of the potential risks and consequences of the diffusion and use of SO.

Published in 2019 by Neuroscience & Behavioral Reviews
Laurent Karila -Paul Brousse Hospital, Paris-Sud University
Maude Marillier Fernand Widal Hospital, Paris, France
Boris Chaumette McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
et al.