Designer drugs: Review and implications for emergency management

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Abstract

In the past 10 years, “designer drugs” such as synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones have emerged and come into widespread use, resulting in more overdose cases involving these new drugs in the United States. Emergency departments regularly treat a diverse array of drug intoxications, and providers must be cognizant of novel drugs of abuse and the associated clinical presentations in order to provide the most appropriate care. This review aims to describe the epidemiology, mechanism of action, clinical presentation, and treatment of intoxication for both the common and newest drugs of abuse.

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