Novel psychoactive substances/NPS; clinical, pharmacological, analytical chemistry, toxicity, legislative, and criminological issues

Dear Colleague,
You may be pleased to know that, as part of the European Commission-funded “Enhancing Police Skills concerning Novel Psychoactive Substances (EPS/NPS)” project Meeting, the Psychopharmacology, Drug Misuse and Novel Psychoactive Substances Research Unit, within the Department of Pharmacy, Postgraduate Medicine and Pharmacology has organised a conference being held at the Fielder Centre, Hatfield, UK on 16 November 2016.

The one-day conference has the theme: “Novel psychoactive substances/NPS; clinical, pharmacological, analytical chemistry, toxicity, legislative, and criminological issues”.

There will be a number of speakers from partner organisations in the EPS/NPS project as well as European experts in relevant fields.

The current programme is as follows:

SESSION I: Background, epidemiology and new research directions in the NPS

  • Chairs: Owen Bowden-Jones; Mire Zloh; Ornella Corazza
  • Overview on NPS - Fabrizio Schifano (UK)
  • NPS issues; epidemiological data - John Corkery (UK)
  • The role of the deep web/darknet in the NPS spread and market chain (1) - Laura Orsolini (UK)
  • The NPS drug markets in the deep web marketplace (2) - Mara Mignone (Italy)
  • The NPS consumption patterns; results from the virtual ethnography approach - Katalin Felvinczi (Hungary)
  • NPS and legislative changes in Europe; challenges and opportunities - Pasquale Policastro (Poland)

SESSION II: Preclinical research on NPS

  • Chairs: Norbert Scherbaum; Marta Torrens; Magi Farré
  • NPS; Pharmacodynamics issues - Gaetano Di Chiara (Italy)
  • Understanding the differential effects of Spice drugs on mesolimbic dopamine function - Maria Antonietta De Luca (Italy)
  • NPS; analytical and chemical issues by using RAMAN spectroscopy - Jacqueline Stair (UK)
  • Chemical evaluation of internet products containing NPS to investigate supply/distribution chains - Jesus Calvo-Castro/Valentina Guarino (UK)
  • Q&A – discussion

Poster Session over lunch

SECTION III: Clinical research on NPS

  • Chairs: Gaetano Di Chiara; Jacque Stair
  • The NEPTUNE Project - Owen Bowden-Jones (UK)
  • Use of NPS and induced psychiatric symptoms in Ibiza: outcomes from the EIVISSA Project - Giovanni Martinotti (Italy)
  • Synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic-cannabinoid-Induced psychotic disorders - Duccio Papanti (Italy)
  • Dual disorders and NPS - Marta Torrens (Spain)
  • Abuse liability and human pharmacology of mephedrone/synthetic cathinones - Magi Farré (Spain)
  • Pregabalin and gabapentin misuse - Norbert Scherbaum (Germany)

We are inviting a limited number of guests from the law enforcement, forensic, and medical fields both within the UK and Europe.

We would be more than happy to see members of the LTG or some of your colleagues at the event.

We hope to publish the conference abstracts in a special issue of a peer-reviewed journal. In this way not only can we publicise the project but also demonstrate that UH is a leading institution in this field.

We seek now to inform the eclipse to give a better coverage to this event.

Further details about the conference can be obtained from myself, John Corkery ( or Valentina Guarino (

Kind regards,
Prof Fabrizio Schifano, Conference Chair
Professor Fabrizio Schifano, MD, FRCPsych
Chair in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Consultant Psychiatrist
University of Hertfordshire
Psychopharmacology, Drug Misuse and Novel Psychoactive Substances Research Unit
School of Life and Medical Sciences
College Lane Campus
Hatfield, Herts
AL10 9AB (UK)
telephone: +44 (0)1707-286107
fax: +44 (0)1707-284506
mobile: +44 (0)753 4915035

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