Synthetic Cannabinoids – the threat, the effects and the management
It has been a very busy evening and you are now driving to a 33 year old man reported as having a seizure – the initial call was 20 minutes ago. When you arrive the patient is still convulsing, he’s dressed well, incontinent of urine, with no signs of trauma, haemorrhage or danger. You begin to assess and manage the patient with differential diagnoses racing through your mind…
This issue provides information on synthetic cannabinoids and guidance on how best to identify and manage a patient who is intoxicated with synthetic cannabinoids.
Ambulance service personnel are frequently the first health care practitioners to attend those who misuse substances. Synthetic cannabinoids are now the largest chemical family monitored by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) with around 169 known substances.
This article provides information on synthetic cannabinoids including how they are made, how they work, their adverse effects, clinical management of acute toxicity and how paramedics can use their knowledge to give practical advice and minimise harm.
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