Scanner - Understanding the dynamics and consequences of new psychoactive substances in a rapidly changing (online) drug market

In programme
Wednesday, 23 November, 2022 - 16:50 to 18:20
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This structured session has as aim the dissemination of Scanner, including the presentation of main findings, collected data and results of this European project. This project focuses mainly on understanding the dynamics and consequences of new psychoactive substance (NPS) use in a rapidly changing (online) drug market. The session will start with a small introduction of the project. Afterwards three presentations on specific results of the project will take place, ending with a moment for discussion and questions. Presentation 1: Analysis of NPS and drugs purchased on Darknet and Clearnet markets. By purchasing NPS sold online and analytical characterization, the assessment is made if the identity and quality of a sold substance corresponds to its presumed or advertised identity. The associated proficiency testing helps to define the minimum requirements needed to correctly identify a broad scale of NPS. Resulting in a set of recommendations and guidelines for other drug checking services or forensic laboratories wishing to properly identify NPS. Presentation 2: The influence of legislation on the availability of NPS. The most common way to tackle the appearance of NPS is legislative change. Currently little is known on the effects of legislative change. Comparison of available listings and actual sales on Darknet markets before and after changes in legislation in Poland and Belgium will provide a better picture of the effect of NPS bans. Presentation 3: Prevalence of NPS use: results of a standardized survey methodology amongst 25 civil society organizations in Europe. The implementation of the survey during one year will make it possible to determine general population characteristics of people using NPS, as well as motivation to use NPS. By involving civil society organizations awareness will be raised on the importance of reliable data, helping to tackle challenges posed by NPS phenomena.