New Psychoactive Substances: A Matter of Time

Flaminia Pantano, Silvia Graziano, Roberta Pacifici, Francesco Paolo Busardò, Simona Pichini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the last few years, a wide range of new psychoactive substances (NPS) have been produced and marketed to elude the controlled substance lists. These molecules enter the traditional illegal and web market with poor knowledge about their toxicity, mechanism of action, metabolism, abuse potential so that they are directly tested by the consumers. This perspective highlights the main issues connected with NPS: the celerity they enter and leave the market once included in the banning laws to be substituted by new legal analogues; the unavailability of analytical screening tests and certified standards to perform toxicological analyses; the time lag between NPS identification and inclusion in the controlled substances lists. Finally, the authors take a snapshot of the commitment of the Italian Early Warning System in highlighting the recent seizures of NPS as well as the distribution of NPS related intoxication and deaths as an example of what is happening in the European countries and internationally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818-822
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Neuropharmacology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Designer Drugs/toxicity
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs/toxicity
  • Italy
  • Psychotropic Drugs/toxicity


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