ORIGINAL PAPER
Clinical pattern of poisoning among patients declared as taking novel recreational drugs
 
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1
Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Department of Toxicology, Toxicology Unit)
2
Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Department of Radiology)
3
Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Department of Toxicology, Poison Information Centre)
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Anna Piekarska-Wijatkowska   

Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Department of Toxicology, Poison Information Centre, św. Teresy 8, 91-348 Łódź, Poland
Online publication date: 2020-04-29
 
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ABSTRACT
Objectives: Intoxication with novel psychoactive drugs poses a significant challenge for medicine due to diagnostic difficulties, complex clinical patterns resulting from the polyethiology of poisoning, and the risk of fatal complications. Material and Methods: The authors of the present work have made a retrospective review of medical records of the patients hospitalized at the Toxicology Unit (TU), diagnosed with poisoning by novel recreational drugs. Results: In 2008–2013, 576 patients diagnosed with that type of poisoning were admitted to the TU. Of those, 192 (33.3%) patients were positive for ethanol in addition to the most popular toxins found in the material collected from the patients, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (50 [8.6%] patients) and amphetamine (35 [6.1%] patients). The most frequent clinical symptoms observed on admission were: anxiety (433 [75.1%] patients), agitation (275 [47.7%] patients), and complaints associated with the circulatory system (225 [39.1%] patients). In the subgroup of 104 (18.0%) psychiatrist-interviewed people, a relationship was found between the suicidal ideation reported during history-taking and the following factors: earlier psychiatric treatment (p = 0.000), financial problems (p = 0.015) and prolonged unemployment (p = 0.022). Conclusions: The observed clinical pattern may be associated with sympathomimetic syndrome due to poisoning by novel psychoactive substances. Preliminary results of this research show that financial problems and a history of psychiatric treatment may enhance suicidal ideation in patients after acute poisoning by psychoactive substances.
eISSN:1896-494X
ISSN:1232-1087