Drugs on the web; the Psychonaut 2002 EU project

Fabrizio Schifano, Paolo Deluca, Alexander Mario Baldacchino, Teuvo Peltoniemi, Norbert Scherbaum, Marta Torrens, Magi Farr, Irene Flores, Mariangela Rossi, Dorte Eastwood, Claude Guionnet, Salman Rawaf, Lisa Agosti, Lucia Di Furia, Raffaella Brigada, Aino Majava, Holger Siemann, Mauro Leoni, Antonella Tomasin, Francesco RovettoA. Hamid Ghodse, Psychonaut 2002 Research Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Only a few formal assessments of websites with drug-related contents have been carried out. We aimed here at fostering collection and analysis of data from web pages related to information on consumption, manufacture and sales of psychoactive substances. General methods: An 8-language, two-engine, assessment of the information available in a purposeful sample of 1633 unique websites was carried out. Findings: A pro-drug and a harm reduction approach were evident, respectively, in 18% and 10% of websites accessed. About 1 in 10 websites offered either psychoactive compounds for sale or detailed data on drugs' synthesis/extraction procedures. Information on a number of psychoactive substances and on unusual drugs' combinations not found in the Medline was elicited. Conclusions: This represents the first review which is both comprehensive and multilingual of the online available information on psychoactive compounds. Health professionals may need to be aware of the web being a new drug resource for information and possibly purchase.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)640-646
Number of pages7
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


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