Acute neurotoxicology of drugs of abuse

S. J. Traub, M. D. Levine

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Many substances can affect the central nervous system, and may cause patients to become critically ill. Acute central neurotoxicologic syndromes associated with drugs of abuse are usually caused by an overdose of sedative-hypnotic agents (including alcohol) or opioids, withdrawal from sedative-hypnotic agents, or an overdose of anticholinergic or sympathomimetic agents. Clinical findings are often syndromic, making physical examination the most important diagnostic tool in the approach to the patient with an unknown ingestion. Treatment focusses on supportive care as the most important intervention for all such patients, augmented by antidotal therapy when appropriate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Clinical Neurology
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameHandbook of Clinical Neurology
ISSN (Print)0072-9752
ISSN (Electronic)2212-4152


  • Drug abuse
  • antidotes
  • clinical signs
  • intoxication
  • management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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