Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 March 2020
New designer benzodiazepines such as phenazepam, etizolam, diclazepam, clonazolam and flubromazolam have appeared in the recreational drug market due to that they provide an attractive alternative to prescription-only benzodiazepines as they are readily available over the Internet.
To describe the presence of new designer benzodiazepines in samples delivered to energy control since 2010 to 2016 in Barcelona.
From 2010 to 2016, 24,551 samples were delivered to energy control. Among this samples 43 (0.175%) were analysed as benzodiazepines. They were analyzed by energy control, a Spanish harm reduction NGO that offers the possibility of analyzing the substances that users report. Analysis was done by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.
From the 43 samples analyzed as benzodiazepines, 1 (2.32%) was delivered in 2010, none in 2011, 2 (4.65%) in 2012, 2 (4.65%) in 2013, 1 (2.32%) in 2014, 15 (34.88%) in 2015 and 21 (48.83%) in 2016.
The data shows that new designer benzodiazepines use is increasing in Barcelona, especially in the last two years. Abuse an addiction to these drugs may be a new public health problem in Barcelona. Unknown side effects may appear due to lack of information about pharmacokinetic profile of these drugs.
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.