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Fifteen-minute consultation: Recognition and management of the child or young person who has ingested a novel psychoactive substance
  1. Lee Tubman1,
  2. Niall Mullen1,
  3. Derek K Tracy2,3
  1. 1 Paediatric Emergency Department, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Sunderland, UK
  2. 2 Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  3. 3 Cognition, Schizophrenia and Imaging Laboratory, Department of Psychosis Studies, The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Niall Mullen, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Sunderland SR4 7TP, UK; niallgmullen{at}


Intoxicated children and young people (CYP) attending the paediatric emergency department (PED) are typically under the influence of alcohol or established recreational agents such as cannabis or ecstasy. The last decade or so has seen an increase in the numbers of CYP in PED who have used novel psychoactive substances (NPS). In this review, we describe four different functional classes of NPS, their legal status, clinical effects, acute management and interventions to reduce harm.

  • toxicology
  • accident & emergency

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  • Contributors NM conceived of the idea for this article. All authors contributed to the writing of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.