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Online test purchased new psychoactive substances in 5 different European countries; a snapshot study of chemical composition and price

Brunt, TM and Atkinson, AM and Nefau, T and Martinez, M and Lahaie, E and Malzcewski, A and Pazitny, M and Belackova, V and Brandt, SD (2017) Online test purchased new psychoactive substances in 5 different European countries; a snapshot study of chemical composition and price. International Journal of Drug Policy, 44. pp. 105-114. ISSN 0955-3959

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Abstract

Background: New psychoactive substances (NPS) are on offer worldwide online, in order to shed light on the purity and price of these substances in the European Union, a research collaboration was set up involving France, United Kingdom (UK), the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Poland. Methods: Per country, around 10 different NPS were test purchased from different webshops. Then, chemical analysis of NPS was done with according reference standards to identify and quantify the contents. Results: In contrast to what is generally advertised on the webshops (>99%), purity varied considerably per test purchased NPS. Several NPS were mislabelled, some containing chemical analogues (e.g. 25B/C-NBOMe instead of 25I-NBOMe, pentedrone instead of 3,4- DMMC). But in some cases NPS differed substantially from what was advertised (e.g. pentedrone instead of AMT or 3-FMC instead of 5-MeO-DALT). Per gram, purity-adjusted prices of cathinones differed substantially between three countries of test purchase, with Poland being the least expensive. Synthetic cannabinoids were relatively the most expensive in the Czech Republic and least expensive in the UK. Conclusions: The current findings provides a snapshot of the price and chemical contents of NPS products purchased by different countries and in different webshops. There is a potential danger of mislabelling of NPS. The great variety in price and purity of the delivered products might be the result of the market dynamics of supply and demand and the role of law enforcement in different European countries.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 11 Medical And Health Sciences, 17 Psychology And Cognitive Sciences, 16 Studies In Human Society
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA1001 Forensic Medicine. Medical jurisprudence. Legal medicine
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Divisions: Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences
Public Health Institute
Publisher: Elsevier
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2017 09:27
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2017 23:46
DOI or Identification number: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.03.006
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6048

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