Intoxication with new psychoactive substances in patients diagnosed at the Department of Clinical and Forensic Toxicology, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin in 2015-2018

Barbara Potocka-Banaś, Urszula Semeniuk, Sławomir Majdanik, Krzysztof Borowiak


Introduction: Intoxication with new psychoactive substances (NPSs), colloquially known as designer drugs, has become a significant problem in the last several years.

The aim of the study was to conduct a statistical analysis of retrospective data from test records for the presence of NPSs in patients hospitalized in 2015–2018 in the West Pomeranian province.

Materials and methods: We analyzed 5,916 results of tests undertaken at the Department of Clinical and Forensic Toxicology at Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin. Blood samples had been analyzed by liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC/MS) and Headspace gas chromatography (GC/Headspace).

Results: Our research was based on 5,916 diagnostic tests for poisoning with volatile and non-volatile organic compounds carried out in 2015–2018 at Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin. Psychoactive substances used for non-medical purposes were detected in 1,465 patients. In the period under analysis 1,328 of these patients were poisoned with classic psychoactive substances, the poisonings caused by the intentional use NPS were recorded in 137.

Conclusions: A retrospective analysis of the above-mentioned data for the period 2015–2018 revealed a gradual increase in the incidence of poisoning with psychoactive substances used for non-medical purposes.



intoxication, new psychoactive substances, NPS

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