New psychoactive substances—Designer benzodiazepines
Journal Paper/Review - Mar 28, 2021
Designer benzodiazepines are a rather new class of new psychoactive substances counting 26 compounds by the end of 2019. However, due to their high habit-forming potential, the easy availability of these drugs in online shops is rather alarming. While the risk of acute health effects or intoxications after the sole consumption of benzodiazepines is low, combined consumption with other central nervous system depressant drugs such as opioids or alcohol can lead to life-threating conditions. Furthermore, long term use can lead to tolerance and addiction. In this review article the emergence of this drug class is described and the literature on pharmacokinetics and the various methods of detection is discussed. Furthermore, the structure activity relationships of benzodiazepines are summarized in order to predict the potency of newly emerging compounds.