Minors and young adult's hospitalizations after "chimique" consumption in Mayotte Island: Which substances are involved?

Therapie. 2022 Aug 1;S0040-5957(22)00124-X. doi: 10.1016/j.therap.2022.07.007. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Objectives: Over the last 10 years, the use of an unknown drug called "chimique" has emerged, among adolescents and young adults in precarious situations in Mayotte Island. To date, the exact composition of "chimique" is still poorly documented, but seizures made on the Island at the same time indicated that it would be mainly composed of synthetic cannabinoids receptor agonists (SCRAs). The objective of this study was to identify which substances, among those consumed under the name of "chimique", leading to hospital admissions.

Methods: Between 1st march and 30th June 2019, all patients, over 14 years old, hospitalized in the emergency department of Mayotte hospital after use of "chimique" for which the physician required toxicological analysis were included. Blood samples and clinical data were recorded for each patient. Toxicological analyses were performed using high resolution mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/QTOF).

Results: Twelve patients were included: 11 males and 1 female. The mean age was 26 years (median age: 22). There were 2 minors. Clinical presentations varied, mainly psychiatric and neurologic disorders were observed. No death was reported. Toxicological analysis identified psychoactive substances such as THC and/or its metabolites (n=3) and MDMB-4en-PINCA (n=2). The other substances identified were mainly part of the patients' treatment.

Conclusion: This is the first study conducted in the Indian Ocean confirming the presence of SCRAs in the "chimique". For a while, the consumption of SCRAs in France seemed to be of limited importance. However, their use has become important in the Indian Ocean since the spread of "chimique" in Mayotte. It continues to spread especially in Reunion Island since 2017 under the name of "chamane".

Keywords: Addictovigilance; Chimique; High resolution mass spectrometry; LC-MS/QTOF; MDMB-4en-PINACA; Mayotte Island; Substance abuse detection; Synthetic cannabinoids.