In the past decade, novel psychoactive substances (NPSs) gained a significant role on the contemporary drug scene. Synthetic cathinones and synthetic cannabinoids are the most common NPSs both in Hungary and worldwide. This study aims to provide a literature review on the Hungarian characteristics related to the use of these NPSs.
Available literature regarding synthetic cathinone and cannabinoid use in Hungary was overviewed and structured into (a) epidemiological studies, (b) studies on the subjective and somatic effects, and (c) studies on toxicity and adverse consequences. Published papers between 2007 and 2017 were identified using PubMed and MATARKA search engines.
One hundred twenty-six papers were identified and after exclusion, 54 papers remained for in-depth analysis. Most of the reviewed studies were providing epidemiological information regarding the NPSs of our interest. Hungarian prevalence rates were not higher than the European averages. Identified risks of these NPSs consisted of drug-induced psychosis, further severe psychiatric symptoms, and fatal overdose. Injecting of cathinones was also a commonly reported phenomenon, mostly among clients of needle-exchange programs.