Professor Fabrizio Schifano, Dr Ornella Corazza, John Corkery and Jacqueline Stair from the University of Hertfordshire’s Centre for Clinical Practice, Safe Medicines and Drug Misuse Research.
Following the successful inaugural conference held in Budapest, Hungary in March 2012, the second international conference on novel recreational drugs takes place this week (12-13 September) in Swansea - bringing together world experts to examine and share the latest scientific research on these drugs.
Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) are an ever growing group of recreational drugs such as MPA (Methiopropamine) and 5-MeO-DALT (N.N-diallyl-5-methoxytryptamine) which are often advertised as being safe.
Frequently referred to as “designer drugs” or “legal highs”, these drugs are sold as legal alternatives to illicit drugs but they can be just as harmful and addictive as illegal drugs like cocaine or amphetamine. They may have similar effects but they are also associated with significantly different and unexpected side-effects.
Not controlled under international drug treaties, they are very easily bought over the internet. Already some 700 NPS have flooded onto the market, but as soon as authorities ban them, the manufacturers rapidly produce and promote alternative new drugs.
The conference is co-organised by Professor Fabrizio Schifano and Dr Ornella Corazza in collaboration with Swansea University and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). It will be of interest to health professionals, youth workers, social care workers, law enforcement officers, educators, policy makers, academics, and people involved in the prevention and treatment of drug addiction.