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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00851

The bridge between classical and ‘synthetic’/chemical psychoses: towards a clinical, psychopathological and therapeutic perspective

  • 1Psychopharmacology, Drug Misuse and Novel Psychoactive Substances Research Unit, School of Life and Medical Sciences, University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
  • 2Villa Jolanda Hospital, Jesi (AN), Neomesia Mental Health, Italy
  • 3Polyedra, Italy
  • 4Psychiatric Service of Diagnosis and Treatment, Hospital “G. Mazzini”, ASL 4 Teramo, Italy
  • 5Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences, G. d'Annunzio University of Chieti and Pescara, Italy

The critical spread and dissemination of novel psychoactive substances (NPS), particularly amongst the most vulnerable youngsters, may pose a further concern about the psychotic trajectories related to the intake of new synthetic drugs. The psychopathological pattern of the ‘new psychoses’ appear to be extremely different from the classical presentation. Therefore, clinicians need more data on these new synthetic psychoses and recommendations on how to manage them. The present mini-review aims at deepening both the clinical, psychopathological features of synthetic/chemical NPS-induced psychoses and their therapeutic strategies, according to the different NPS classes implicated, by underlining the main differences with the ‘classical’ psychoses. A comprehensive review was conducted using the PubMed/Medline database, by combining the search strategy of free text terms and exploding a range of MESH headings relating to the topics of Novel Psychoactive Substances and Synthetic/Chemical Psychoses as follows: ((Novel Psychoactive Substances[Title/Abstract]) AND Psychosis[Title/Abstract])) and for each NPS categories as well, focussing on synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones, without time and/or language restrictions. Finally, an overview of the main clinical and psychopathological features between classical versus NPS-induced chemical/synthetic psychoses is provided for clinicians working with Dual Disorders and Addiction Psychiatry. Further insight is given here on therapeutic strategies and practical guidelines for managing patients affected with synthetic/chemical NPS-induced psychoses.

Keywords: psychosis, psychosis and addictive disorders, Synthetic psychosis, chemical psychosis, classical psychosis, Novel psychoactive substances, NPS

Received: 23 Jul 2019; Accepted: 30 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Orsolini, Chiappini, Papanti, De Berardis, Corkery and Schifano. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Laura Orsolini, University of Hertfordshire, Psychopharmacology, Drug Misuse and Novel Psychoactive Substances Research Unit, School of Life and Medical Sciences, Hatfield, United Kingdom, laura.orsolini@hotmail.it