Drug Abuse :: Leading toxicologist warns against new drug of abuse

Professor Alison Jones said benzylpiperazine was a ?new drug of abuse? which could have seriousclinical effects – similar to those of ecstasy to which it is structurally related.

The finding appears in a paper co-authored by Professor Jones in this week?s edition of theprestigious international medical journal ? The Lancet.

In the paper Professor Jones from the University of Newcastle and her toxicology colleagues, fromGuy?s and St Thomas? Hospital in London and St Georges? Hospital London Drug TestingLaboratory, show for the first time the presence of a new drug of abuse ? benzylpiperazine.

Professor Jones said while benzylpiperazine was prohibited in Australia, the drug was readilyavailable in the United Kingdom.

?This drug is currently unrestricted in the UK. Its availability and detection in patients in the UK whohave come to harm, raises significant issues of clinical problems and access,? said Professor Jones.Now in Australia, Professor Jones has joined the University of Newcastle and the Hunter MedicalResearch Institute as Professor of Medicine and Clinical Toxicology. She is also a clinician at theNewcastle Mater Hospital and responsible for providing education and toxicology advice toclinicians.

Professor Jones comes to Newcastle from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London, where shewas formerly the Director of the National Poisons Information Service. She brings with her a wealthof experience in clinical medicine, teaching and research.

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