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WIREs Forensic Sci

New psychoactive substances—Designer benzodiazepines

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Abstract Designer benzodiazepines are a rather new class of new psychoactive substances counting 26 compounds by the end of 2019. However, due to their high habit‐forming potential, the easy availability of these drugs in online shops is rather alarming. While the risk of acute health effects or intoxications after the sole consumption of benzodiazepines is low, combined consumption with other central nervous system depressant drugs such as opioids or alcohol can lead to life‐threating conditions. Furthermore, long term use can lead to tolerance and addiction. In this review article the emergence of this drug class is described and the literature on pharmacokinetics and the various methods of detection is discussed. Furthermore, the structure activity relationships of benzodiazepines are summarized in order to predict the potency of newly emerging compounds. This article is categorized under: Toxicology > New Psychoactive Substances
Summary and structural formula of designer benzodiazepines grouped by their structural formula
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Metabolic pathways of licensed benzodiazepines and designer benzodiazepines leading to the formation of mutual metabolites
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Metabolic pathways of licensed benzodiazepines and designer benzodiazepines leading to the formation of mutual metabolites
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Proposed metabolism of the triazolobenzodiazepine clonazolam
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Metabolism of the designer benzodiazepine cloniprazepam illustrating the formation of common metabolite with clonazepam/methyl‐clonazepam
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Structure activity relationships (SAR) of designer benzodiazepines depicted for the structural classes of 1,4‐benzodiazepines and (thieno)‐triazolobenzodiazepines
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Subclasses of benzodiazepines without representatives on the NPS market
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