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SCANNER

The SCANNER project is an answer to the challenges related to the increased presence of the novel psychoactive substances (NPS) in Europe. Substances are appearing on the market at the rapid rate, and the true contents of what is offered by vendors are usually unknown.

The project is coordinated by SCIENSANO (BE) and the partners Asociación Bienestar y Desarrollo ABD (SP), Vlaamse expertisecentrum Alcohol en andere Drugs VAD (BE), Medical University of Vienna (AT), Associação Kosmicare (PT), Youth Organisations for Drug Action (PL), BASIS – Beratung, Arbeit, Jugend & Kultur e.V. (DE), DrogArt (SI)

The SCANNER project will be implemented in differents European between February 2020 and November 2023.

Context

In the last decade increasing amounts of new psychoactive substances (NPS) have been identified in Europe. These NPS are chemically and toxicologically similar to classic illicit drugs but evade legislation by structural alterations. Little information is available regarding NPS consumption, user patterns or profiles. Additionally, laboratory analysis of NPS is difficult because reference material supply is poor or because chemical spectra are not readily available.

The most frequently used response to tackle the problem is a legislative change. However, little information is available regarding the influence of legislation on the identity of NPS offered for sale online and their quality and purchase methods.

Identifying which NPS offered for sale using continuous web monitoring, both before and after a change in legislation will yield valuable information on the effect of legislation on identity and price of NPS available online. By purchasing and subsequently analysing NPS using analytical chemistry we will establish to what extent the identity of NPS available online matches the presumed identity as advertised by the vendor.

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SCANNER. Understanding the dynamics and consequences of New Psychoactive Substances use in a rapidly changing (online) drug market.

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