European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction is an agency of the European Union located in Lisbon, Portugal. Established in 1993, the EMCDDA strives to be the "reference point" on drug usage for the European Union's member states, to deliver "factual, objective and comparable information" about drug usage, drug addiction and related health complications, including hepatitis, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Though the EMCDDA serves Europe, it works with other partners and policy-makers around the world; the EMCDDA was founded on the principle that independent scientific research is a "vital resource to help Europe understand the nature of its drug problems and better respond to them."Its stated missions are to: Provide the Community and EU Member States with:'factual, objective and comparable information at European level concerning drugs and drug addiction and their consequences' Collect and analyse information on'emerging trends' in polydrug use, the combined use of licit and illicit psychoactive substances Offer information on best practice in the EU Member States and facilitate exchange of such practice between themAmong the Centre's target groups are policy-makers, who use this information to help formulate coherent national and EU drug strategies.
Served are professionals and researchers working in the drugs field and, more broadly, the European media and general public. At the heart of the Centre's work is the task of improving the comparability of drug information across Europe and devising the methods and tools required to achieve this; as a result of efforts to date, countries can now view how they fit into the wider European picture and examine common problems and goals. A key feature of the drug phenomenon is its shifting, dynamic nature, tracking new developments is a central task of the EMCDDA; the Centre obtains information from the "Reitox network": a group of focal points in each of the 28 EU Member States, the candidate countries to the EU, at the European Commission. This human and computer network links the national information systems of the 28 Member States and their key partners to the EMCDDA, it acts as a practical instrument for the exchange of data and information. The annual report on the state of the drugs problem in the European Union and Norway and an online statistical bulletin offer a yearly overview of the latest European drug situation and trends.
Meanwhile, online country situation summaries provide a pool of national drug-related data. The EMCDDA works in partnership with non-EU countries as well as with international bodies such as the United Nations International Drug Control Programme, the World Health Organization, the Council of Europe's Pompidou Group, the World Customs Organization, the International Criminal Police Organisation and the European Police Office. Limits to the effectiveness of the organisation have been identified as possible disparity in research standards and rigour between member countries. Efforts to standardise research and data collection are an essential element to maintaining consistency and validity in universal application throughout the European Union. Benefit may be gained from more detailed and timely monitoring of emerging drug trends in fulfilling the organisation's role of providing pre-emptive responses to drug related issues. An additional challenge to the EMCDD is ensuring limited resources are managed so as not to provide replication of research and risk becoming redundant.
The EMCDDA is proactive in suggesting positive policy change, based on their data collection, to the organisations that can implement these changes. One such change was presented in their 2015 annual report titled'Alternatives to punishment for drug-using offenders'. Razmadze and colleagues in their review of the EMCDDA's report supported the contention that incarcerating drug users is placing a large financial burden on states as well as doing more harm to drug users and their families; the evidence shows that this option criminalises offenders and promotes recidivism whereas treatment and rehabilitation programs provide the better option to keep both the drug user and the public safer. This alternative approach towards drug users is in keeping with the guidelines by the United Nations 1988 and the Council of the European Union in 2012. In 2013 The American Library Association recognised three EMCDDA’s publications among the notable government documents of 2012. European Council decisions on designer drugs United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime UNODC European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction Health-EU Portal the official public health portal of the European Union
Benzodiazepines, sometimes called "benzos", are a class of psychoactive drugs whose core chemical structure is the fusion of a benzene ring and a diazepine ring. The first such drug, was discovered accidentally by Leo Sternbach in 1955, made available in 1960 by Hoffmann–La Roche, since 1963, has marketed the benzodiazepine diazepam. In 1977 benzodiazepines were globally the most prescribed medications, they are in the family of drugs known as minor tranquilizers. Benzodiazepines enhance the effect of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid at the GABAA receptor, resulting in sedative, anxiolytic and muscle relaxant properties. High doses of many shorter-acting benzodiazepines may cause anterograde amnesia and dissociation; these properties make benzodiazepines useful in treating anxiety, agitation, muscle spasms, alcohol withdrawal and as a premedication for medical or dental procedures. Benzodiazepines are categorized as either intermediary, or long-acting. Short- and intermediate-acting benzodiazepines are preferred for the treatment of insomnia.
Benzodiazepines are viewed as safe and effective for short-term use, although cognitive impairment and paradoxical effects such as aggression or behavioral disinhibition occur. A minority of people can have paradoxical reactions such as worsened panic. Benzodiazepines are associated with increased risk of suicide. Long-term use is controversial because of concerns about decreasing effectiveness, physical dependence, an increased risk of dementia. Stopping benzodiazepines leads to improved physical and mental health; the elderly are at an increased risk of both short- and long-term adverse effects, as a result, all benzodiazepines are listed in the Beers List of inappropriate medications for older adults. There is controversy concerning the safety of benzodiazepines in pregnancy. While they are not major teratogens, uncertainty remains as to whether they cause cleft palate in a small number of babies and whether neurobehavioural effects occur as a result of prenatal exposure. Benzodiazepines can cause dangerous deep unconsciousness.
However, they are less toxic than their predecessors, the barbiturates, death results when a benzodiazepine is the only drug taken. When combined with other central nervous system depressants such as alcoholic drinks and opioids, the potential for toxicity and fatal overdose increases. Benzodiazepines are misused and taken in combination with other drugs of abuse. Benzodiazepines possess psycholeptic, hypnotic, anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant, amnesic actions, which are useful in a variety of indications such as alcohol dependence, anxiety disorders, panic and insomnia. Most are administered orally. In general, benzodiazepines are well-tolerated and are safe and effective drugs in the short term for a wide range of conditions. Tolerance can develop to their effects and there is a risk of dependence, upon discontinuation a withdrawal syndrome may occur; these factors, combined with other possible secondary effects after prolonged use such as psychomotor, cognitive, or memory impairments, limit their long-term applicability.
The effects of long-term use or misuse include the tendency to cause or worsen cognitive deficits and anxiety. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia recommends discontinuing the usage of benzodiazepines in those on opioids and those who have used them long term. Benzodiazepines can have serious adverse health outcomes, these findings support clinical and regulatory efforts to reduce usage in combination with non-benzodiazepine receptor agonists; because of their effectiveness and rapid onset of anxiolytic action, benzodiazepines are used for the treatment of anxiety associated with panic disorder. However, there is disagreement among expert bodies regarding the long-term use of benzodiazepines for panic disorder; the views range from those that hold that benzodiazepines are not effective long-term and that they should be reserved for treatment-resistant cases to those that hold that they are as effective in the long term as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The American Psychiatric Association guidelines note that, in general, benzodiazepines are well tolerated, their use for the initial treatment for panic disorder is supported by numerous controlled trials.
APA states that there is insufficient evidence to recommend any of the established panic disorder treatments over another. The choice of treatment between benzodiazepines, SSRIs, serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, psychotherapy should be based on the patient's history and other individual characteristics. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are to be the best choice of pharmacotherapy for many patients with panic disorder, but benzodiazepines are often used, some studies suggest that these medications are still used with greater frequency than the SSRIs. One advantage of benzodiazepines is that they alleviate the anxiety symptoms much faster than antidepressants, therefore may be preferred in patients for whom rapid symptom control is critical. However, this advantage is offset by the possibility of developing benzodiazepine dependence. APA does not recommend benzodiazepines for persons with depressive
Hypnotic or soporific drugs known as sleeping pills, are a class of psychoactive drugs whose primary function is to induce sleep and to be used in the treatment of insomnia, or for surgical anesthesia. This group is related to sedatives. Whereas the term sedative describes drugs that serve to calm or relieve anxiety, the term hypnotic describes drugs whose main purpose is to initiate, sustain, or lengthen sleep; because these two functions overlap, because drugs in this class produce dose-dependent effects they are referred to collectively as sedative-hypnotic drugs. Hypnotic drugs are prescribed for insomnia and other sleep disorders, with over 95% of insomnia patients being prescribed hypnotics in some countries. Many hypnotic drugs are habit-forming and, due to a large number of factors known to disturb the human sleep pattern, a physician may instead recommend changes in the environment before and during sleep, better sleep hygiene, the avoidance of caffeine or other stimulating substances, or behavioral interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia before prescribing medication for sleep.
When prescribed, hypnotic medication should be used for the shortest period of time necessary. Among individuals with sleep disorders, 13.7% are taking or prescribed nonbenzodiazepines, while 10.8% are taking benzodiazepines, as of 2010. Early classes of drugs, such as barbiturates, have fallen out of use in most practices but are still prescribed for some patients. In children, prescribing hypnotics is not yet acceptable unless used to treat night terrors or somnambulism. Elderly people are more sensitive to potential side effects of daytime fatigue and cognitive impairments, a meta-analysis found that the risks outweigh any marginal benefits of hypnotics in the elderly. A review of the literature regarding benzodiazepine hypnotics and Z-drugs concluded that these drugs can have adverse effects, such as dependence and accidents, that optimal treatment uses the lowest effective dose for the shortest therapeutic time period, with gradual discontinuation in order to improve health without worsening of sleep.
Falling outside the above-mentioned categories, the neuro-hormone melatonin has a hypnotic function. Hypnotica was a class of somniferous drugs and substances tested in medicine of the 1890s and including: Urethan, Methylal, paraldehyde, Hypnon and Ohloralamid or Chloralimid. Research about using medications to treat insomnia evolved throughout the last half of the 20th century. Treatment for insomnia in psychiatry dates back to 1869 when chloral hydrate was first used as a soporific. Barbiturates emerged as the first class of drugs that emerged in the early 1900s, after which chemical substitution allowed derivative compounds. Although the best drug family at the time they were dangerous in overdose and tended to cause physical and psychological dependence. During the 1970s, quinazolinones and benzodiazepines were introduced as safer alternatives to replace barbiturates. Benzodiazepines are not without their drawbacks. Questions have been raised as to. Nonbenzodiazepines are the most recent development.
Although it's clear that they are less toxic than their predecessors, comparative efficacy over benzodiazepines have not been established. Without longitudinal studies, it is hard to determine. Other sleep remedies that may be considered "sedative-hypnotics" exist. Examples of these include mirtazapine, clonidine and the over-the-counter sleep aid diphenhydramine. Off-label sleep remedies are useful when first-line treatment is unsuccessful or deemed unsafe. Barbiturates are drugs that act as central nervous system depressants, can therefore produce a wide spectrum of effects, from mild sedation to total anesthesia, they are effective as anxiolytics and anticonvulsalgesic effects. They have dependence liability, both psychological. Barbiturates have now been replaced by benzodiazepines in routine medical practice – for example, in the treatment of anxiety and insomnia – because benzodiazepines are less dangerous in overdose. However, barbiturates are still used in general anesthesia, for epilepsy, assisted suicide.
Barbiturates are derivatives of barbituric acid. The principal mechanism of action of barbiturates is believed to be positive allosteric modulation of GABAA receptors. Examples include amobarbital, phenobarbital and sodium thiopental. Quinazolinones are a class of drugs which function as hypnotic/sedatives that contain a 4-quinazolinone core, their use has been proposed in the treatment of cancer. Examples of quinazolinones include cloroqualone, etaqualone, mebroqualone and methaqualone. Benzodiaz
Regulation of therapeutic goods
The regulation of therapeutic goods, drugs and therapeutic devices, varies by jurisdiction. In some countries, such as the United States, they are regulated at the national level by a single agency. In other jurisdictions they are regulated at the state level, or at both state and national levels by various bodies, as is the case in Australia; the role of therapeutic goods regulation is designed to protect the health and safety of the population. Regulation is aimed at ensuring the safety and efficacy of the therapeutic goods which are covered under the scope of the regulation. In most jurisdictions, therapeutic goods must be registered. There is some degree of restriction of the availability of certain therapeutic goods depending on their risk to consumers. Modern drug regulation has historical roots in the response to the proliferation of universal antidotes which appeared in the wake of Mithridates' death. Mithridates had brought together physicians and shamans to concoct a potion that would make him immune to poisons.
Following his death, the Romans became keen on further developing the Mithridates potion's recipe. Mithridatium re-entered western society through multiple means; the first was through the Leechbook of the Bald, written somewhere between 900 and 950, which contained a formula for various remedies, including for a theriac. Additionally, theriac became a commercial good traded throughout Europe based on the works of Greek and Roman physicians; the resulting proliferation of various recipes needed to be curtailed in order to ensure that people were not passing off fake antidotes, which led to the development of government involvement and regulation. Additionally, the creation of these concoctions took on ritualistic form and were created in public and the process was observed and recorded, it was believed that if the concoction proved unsuccessful, it was due to the apothecaries’ process of making them and they could be held accountable because of the public nature of the creation. In the 9th century, many Muslim countries established an office of the hisba, which in addition to regulating compliance to Islamic principles and values took on the role of regulating other aspects of social and economic life, including the regulation of medicines.
Inspectors were appointed to employ oversight on those who were involved in the process of medicine creation and were given a lot of leigh weigh to ensure compliance and punishments were stringent. The first official'act', the'Apothecary Wares and Stuffs' Act was passed in 1540 by Henry VIII and set the foundation for others. Through this act, he encouraged physicians in his College of Physicians to appoint four people dedicated to inspecting what was being sold in apothecary shops. In conjunction with this first piece of legislation, there was an emergence of standard formulas for the creation of certain ‘drugs’ and ‘antidotes’ through Pharmacopoeias which first appeared in the form of a decree from Frederick II of Sicily in 1240 to use consistent and standard formulas; the first modern pharmacopoeias were the Florence Pharmacopoeia published in 1498, the Spanish Pharmacopoeia published in 1581 and the London Pharmacopoeia published in 1618. In the United States, regulation of drugs was a state right, as opposed to federal right.
But with the increase in fraudulent practices due to private incentives to maximize profits and poor enforcement of state laws, increased the need for stronger federal regulation. President Roosevelt signed the Federal Food and Drug Act in 1906 which established stricter standards. A 1911 Supreme Court decision, United States vs. Johnson, established that misleading statements were not covered under the FFDA; this directly led to Congress passing the Sherley Amendment which established a clearer definition of ‘misbranded’. Another key catalyst for advances in drug regulation were certain catastrophes that served as calls to the government to step in and impose regulations that would prevent repeats of those instances. One such instance occurred in 1937 when more than a hundred people died from using sulfanilamide elixir which had not gone through any safety testing; this directly led to the passing of the Federal, Food and Cosmetic Act in 1938. One other major catastrophe occurred in the late 1950s when Thalidomide, sold in Germany and sold around the world, led to 100,000 babies being born with various deformities.
The UK's Chief Medical Officer had established a group to look into safety of drugs on the market in 1959 prior to the crisis and was moving in the direction of address the problem of unregulated drugs entering the market. The crisis created a greater sense of emergency to establish safety and efficacy standards around the world; the UK started a temporary Committee on Safety of Drugs while they attempted to pass more comprehensive legislation. Though compliance and submission of drugs to the Committee on Safety of Drugs was not mandatory after, the pharmaceutical industry larger complied due to the thalidomide situation; the European Economic Commission passed a directive in 1965 in order to impose greater efficacy standards before marketing a drug. The United States congress passed the Drug Amendments Act of 1962 The Drug Amendments Act required the FDA to ensure that new drugs being introduced to the market had passed certain tests and standards. Both the EU and US acts introduced the requirements to ensure efficacy.
Of note, increased regulations and standards for testing led to greater innovation in pharm
A designer drug is a structural or functional analog of a controlled substance, designed to mimic the pharmacological effects of the original drug, while avoiding classification as illegal and/or detection in standard drug tests. Designer drugs include psychoactive substances that have been designated by the European Union as new psychoactive substances as well as analogs of performance-enhancing drugs such as designer steroids; some of these were synthesized by academic or industrial researchers in an effort to discover more potent derivatives with fewer side effects and were co-opted for recreational use. Other designer drugs were prepared for the first time in clandestine laboratories; because the efficacy and safety of these substances have not been evaluated in animal and human trials, the use of some of these drugs may result in unexpected side effects. The development of designer drugs may be considered a subfield of drug design; the exploration of modifications to known active drugs—such as their structural analogues and derivatives—yields drugs that may differ in effects from their "parent" drug.
In some instances, designer drugs have similar effects to other known drugs, but have dissimilar chemical structures. Despite being a broad term, applicable to every synthetic drug, it is used to connote synthetic recreational drugs, sometimes those which have not been designed at all. In some jurisdictions, drugs that are similar in structure to a prohibited drug are illegal to trade regardless of that drug's legal status. In other jurisdictions, their trade is a legal grey area; some jurisdictions may have analogue laws which ban drugs similar in chemical structure to other prohibited drugs, while some designer drugs may be prohibited irrespective of the legal status of structurally similar drugs. Following the passage of the second International Opium Convention in 1925, which banned morphine, the diacetyl ester of morphine, a number of alternative esters of morphine started to be manufactured and sold; the most notable of these were dibenzoylmorphine and acetylpropionylmorphine, which have identical effects to heroin but were not covered by the Opium Convention.
This led the Health Committee of the League of Nations to pass several resolutions attempting to bring these new drugs under control leading in 1930 to the first broad analogues provisions extending legal control to all esters of morphine and hydromorphone. Another early example of what could loosely be termed designer drug use, was during the Prohibition era in the 1930s, when diethyl ether was sold and used as an alternative to illegal alcoholic beverages in a number of countries. During the 1960s and 1970s, a number of new synthetic hallucinogens were introduced, with a notable example being the sale of potent tablets of DOM in San Francisco in 1967. There was little scope to prosecute people over drug analogues at this time, with new compounds instead being added to the controlled drug schedules one by one as they became a problem, but one significant court case from this period was in 1973, when Tim Scully and Nicholas Sand were prosecuted for making the acetyl amide of LSD, known as ALD-52.
At this time ALD-52 was not a controlled drug, but they were convicted on the grounds that in order to make ALD-52, they would have had to be in possession of LSD, illegal. The late 1970s saw the introduction of various analogues of phencyclidine to the illicit market; the modern use of the term designer drug was coined in the 1980s to refer to various synthetic opioid drugs, based on the fentanyl molecule. The term gained widespread popularity; when the term was coined in the 1980s, a wide range of narcotics were being sold as heroin on the black market. Many were based on meperidine. One, MPPP, was found in some cases to contain an impurity called MPTP, which caused brain damage that could result in a syndrome identical to full-blown Parkinson's disease, from only a single dose. Other problems were potent fentanyl analogues, which were sold as China White, that caused many accidental overdoses; because the government was powerless to prosecute people for these drugs until after they had been marketed laws were passed to give the DEA power to emergency schedule chemicals for a year, with an optional 6-month extension, while gathering evidence to justify permanent scheduling, as well as the analogue laws mentioned previously.
Emergency-scheduling power was used for the first time for MDMA. In this case, the DEA scheduled MDMA as a Schedule I drug and retained this classification after review though their own judge ruled that MDMA should be classified Schedule III on the basis of its demonstrated uses in medicine; the emergency scheduling power has subsequently been used for a variety of other drugs including 2C-B, AMT, BZP. In 2004, a piperazine drug, TFMPP, became the first drug, emergency-scheduled to be denied permanent scheduling and revert to legal status; the late 1980s and early 1990s saw the re-emergence of methamphetamine in the United States as a widespread public health issue, leading to increasing controls on precursor chemicals in an attempt to cut down on domestic manufacture of the drug. This led to several alternative stimulant drugs emerging, the most notable ones being methcathinone and 4-m
The Jmol applet, among other abilities, offers an alternative to the Chime plug-in, no longer under active development. While Jmol has many features that Chime lacks, it does not claim to reproduce all Chime functions, most notably, the Sculpt mode. Chime requires plug-in installation and Internet Explorer 6.0 or Firefox 2.0 on Microsoft Windows, or Netscape Communicator 4.8 on Mac OS 9. Jmol operates on a wide variety of platforms. For example, Jmol is functional in Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari. Chemistry Development Kit Comparison of software for molecular mechanics modeling Jmol extension for MediaWiki List of molecular graphics systems Molecular graphics Molecule editor Proteopedia PyMOL SAMSON Official website Wiki with listings of websites and moodles Willighagen, Egon. "Fast and Scriptable Molecular Graphics in Web Browsers without Java3D". Doi:10.1038/npre.2007.50.1
Simplified molecular-input line-entry system
The simplified molecular-input line-entry system is a specification in the form of a line notation for describing the structure of chemical species using short ASCII strings. SMILES strings can be imported by most molecule editors for conversion back into two-dimensional drawings or three-dimensional models of the molecules; the original SMILES specification was initiated in the 1980s. It has since been extended. In 2007, an open standard called. Other linear notations include the Wiswesser line notation, ROSDAL, SYBYL Line Notation; the original SMILES specification was initiated by David Weininger at the USEPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division Laboratory in Duluth in the 1980s. Acknowledged for their parts in the early development were "Gilman Veith and Rose Russo and Albert Leo and Corwin Hansch for supporting the work, Arthur Weininger and Jeremy Scofield for assistance in programming the system." The Environmental Protection Agency funded the initial project to develop SMILES. It has since been modified and extended by others, most notably by Daylight Chemical Information Systems.
In 2007, an open standard called "OpenSMILES" was developed by the Blue Obelisk open-source chemistry community. Other'linear' notations include the Wiswesser Line Notation, ROSDAL and SLN. In July 2006, the IUPAC introduced the InChI as a standard for formula representation. SMILES is considered to have the advantage of being more human-readable than InChI; the term SMILES refers to a line notation for encoding molecular structures and specific instances should be called SMILES strings. However, the term SMILES is commonly used to refer to both a single SMILES string and a number of SMILES strings; the terms "canonical" and "isomeric" can lead to some confusion when applied to SMILES. The terms are not mutually exclusive. A number of valid SMILES strings can be written for a molecule. For example, CCO, OCC and CC all specify the structure of ethanol. Algorithms have been developed to generate the same SMILES string for a given molecule; this SMILES is unique for each structure, although dependent on the canonicalization algorithm used to generate it, is termed the canonical SMILES.
These algorithms first convert the SMILES to an internal representation of the molecular structure. Various algorithms for generating canonical SMILES have been developed and include those by Daylight Chemical Information Systems, OpenEye Scientific Software, MEDIT, Chemical Computing Group, MolSoft LLC, the Chemistry Development Kit. A common application of canonical SMILES is indexing and ensuring uniqueness of molecules in a database; the original paper that described the CANGEN algorithm claimed to generate unique SMILES strings for graphs representing molecules, but the algorithm fails for a number of simple cases and cannot be considered a correct method for representing a graph canonically. There is no systematic comparison across commercial software to test if such flaws exist in those packages. SMILES notation allows the specification of configuration at tetrahedral centers, double bond geometry; these are structural features that cannot be specified by connectivity alone and SMILES which encode this information are termed isomeric SMILES.
A notable feature of these rules is. The term isomeric SMILES is applied to SMILES in which isotopes are specified. In terms of a graph-based computational procedure, SMILES is a string obtained by printing the symbol nodes encountered in a depth-first tree traversal of a chemical graph; the chemical graph is first trimmed to remove hydrogen atoms and cycles are broken to turn it into a spanning tree. Where cycles have been broken, numeric suffix labels are included to indicate the connected nodes. Parentheses are used to indicate points of branching on the tree; the resultant SMILES form depends on the choices: of the bonds chosen to break cycles, of the starting atom used for the depth-first traversal, of the order in which branches are listed when encountered. Atoms are represented by the standard abbreviation of the chemical elements, in square brackets, such as for gold. Brackets may be omitted in the common case of atoms which: are in the "organic subset" of B, C, N, O, P, S, F, Cl, Br, or I, have no formal charge, have the number of hydrogens attached implied by the SMILES valence model, are the normal isotopes, are not chiral centers.
All other elements must be enclosed in brackets, have charges and hydrogens shown explicitly. For instance, the SMILES for water may be written as either O or. Hydrogen may be written as a separate atom; when brackets are used, the symbol H is added if the atom in brackets is bonded to one or more hydrogen, followed by the number of hydrogen atoms if greater than 1 by the sign + for a positive charge or by - for a negative charge. For example, for ammonium. If there is more than one charge, it is written as digit.