Synthetic cannabinoid use in an acute psychiatric inpatient unit
Over half of the patients at a psychiatric inpatient unit in Australia reported using synthetic cannabis before their admission to the acute treatment clinic. Although synthetic cannabinoids have been banned from retail centers in Australia patients reported that legality, availability, and the feeling of intoxication were the main motivation for their use of synthetic cannabinoids. There is a high prevalence of new psychoactive substances available and the data from the clinic causes some in the healthcare field to suggest that clinicians should routinely screen for substances during the admission process.
This article mentions the flurry of new synthetic psychoactive substances, including cannabinoids but also extending beyond just those, which highlights the issue of readily available designer drugs. It can be difficult to keep track of illicit designer drugs as illegal manufacturers are often able to quickly modify their product before the previous form is even determined to be an illegal substance. By routinely checking for new drug variants the legal and medical systems would be better able to maintain and keep a record of such substances for future use, tracking, and treatment protocols.
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