Project summary

There are ew psychostimulants (NPS) and hallucinogens, which are highly abused, but their adverse effects are unknown. These NPS are designed to mimic traditional drugs and avoid EU drug legislation and prosecution. So, a long-time elapses, with intoxications and fatalities, from the moment their appear in the illicit market until they are banned. A rapid information ex-change and further risk assessment system is critical to activate fast EU control measures.

The primary goal of NextGenPS is to allow early identification and characterization of new psychostimulants/hallucinogens with high abuse liability or able to induce psychedelic effects, using a novel predictive strategy. 

To achieve this, NextGenPS will

  1. 1.      Select eight NPS from updated EU databases and based on their novelty, lack of scientific knowledge and their potential to induce drug dependence and/or hallucinogen effects
  2. 2.      Synthesize those with predicted high addictive/hallucinogen potency
  3. 3.      Design analytical protocols for further forensic/toxicological analysis, and
  4. 4.      Characterize their mechanisms of action and their psychostimulant, hallucinogen and addictive properties in rodents.

NextGenPS constitutes a new policy on drugs that could be extended to other NPS since it is a proactive form of drug fighting, which allows anticipating to the emergence of NPS with known health risks. Results of the NexGentPS will be sent to each National Focal Point leading to a further EU risk assessment. Dissemination of the results will include OpenAIRE, the project website, open-access research papers and a summary to Research*eu results magazine. Moreover, we will create a project profile in the CORDIS Wire and will maximize the potential of social media.


To select eight NPS (3cathinone-, 2phenethylamine- and 3tryptamine-derivatives).

To synthesize and characterize the selected NPS.

To design an analytical protocol allowing the detection of the selected NPS 

To characterize the mechanism of action of the selected NPS.

To study the psychostimulant and reinforcing effects of selected cathinones and phenethylamines   

To study the abuse potential of the selected cathinones and phenethylamines 

To study the hallucinogen properties of phenethylamine and tryptamine derivatives

Selection of candidates

Search of pre-candidates  

Processing of pre-candidates

Final selectionle.

Chemical synthesis

Synthesis of pure 3 cathinone- 2 phenethyklamine- a d 3 tryptamine-derivatives.

Chemical characterization of these


Chemical analysis

Analytival protocols in simulated human plasma and urine

Analytical protocols to detect these NPS in seized materials.

Mechanism of action

Inhibition of neurotransmitters uptake

Transporter binding assays

Behavioural assays

Determination of psychostimulant activity

Determination of rewarding effects

Determination of reinforcing effects

Determination of the hallucinogenic properties