An index of fatal toxicity for new psychoactive substances
King, L.A.; Corkery, John
Citation: King , L A & Corkery , J 2018 , ' An index of fatal toxicity for new psychoactive substances ' Journal of Psychopharmacology , vol 32 , no. 7 , pp. 793-801 . DOI: 10.1177/0269881118754709
An index of fatal toxicity for new psychoactive substances (NPS) has been developed based solely on information provided on death certificates. An updated index of fatal toxicity (Tf), as first described in 2010 (King and Corkery, 2010), was calculated based on the ratio of deaths to prevalence and seizures for the original five substances (amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine/crack, heroin and MDMA) . These correlated well with the 2010 index. Deaths were then examined both for cases where the substance was and was not found in association with other substances. This ratio (Sole to All mentions; S/A) was then calculated for deaths in the period 1993 to 2016. This new measure of fatal toxicity, expressed by S/A, was well-correlated with the index Ln(Tf) of the original reference compounds. The calculation of S/A was then extended to a group of NPS where insufficient prevalence or seizure data were available to directly determine a value of Tf. by interpolation of a graph of Tf versus S/A. Benzodiazepine analogues (BZD) had particularly low values of S/A and hence Tf. By contrast, γ-hydroxybutyrate/γ-butyrolactone (GHB/GBL), AMT, synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (SCRAs) and benzofurans had a higher fatal toxicity.
The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Journal of Psychopharmacology, February 2018, published by SAGE Publishing, All rights reserved.
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