At the end of 2019, the EMCDDA had identified more than 700 new psychoactive substances (NPS). Among them, there are the new psychostimulants and hallucinogens, which are highly abused, but their short/long-term adverse effects are unknown. These NPS are designed to mimic traditional drugs and avoid EU drug legislation and prosecution. So, a long-time elapses, with intoxications and fatalities, from the moment they appear in the illicit market until they are banned. A rapid information ex-change and further risk assessment system is critical to activate fast EU control measures. The primary goal of NextGenPS is to allow early identification and characterization of new psychostimulants/hallucinogens with high abuse liability or able to induce psychedelic effects, using a novel predictive strategy.
To achieve this, NextGenPS will:
Select eight NPS from updated EU databases and based on their novelty, lack of scientific knowledge and their potential to induce drug dependence and/or hallucinogen effects
Synthesize those with predicted high addictive/hallucinogen potency
Design analytical protocols for further forensic/toxicological analysis, and
Characterize their mechanisms of action and their psychostimulant, hallucinogen and addictive properties in rodents.
NextGenPS constitutes a new policy on drugs that could be extended to other NPS since it is a proactive form of drug fighting, which allows anticipating to the emergence of NPS with known health risks. Results of the NexGentPS will be sent to each National Focal Point leading to a further EU risk assessment. Dissemination of the results will include OpenAIRE, the project website, open-access research papers and a summary to Research*eu results magazine. Moreover, we will create a project profile in the CORDIS Wire and will maximize the potential of social media.