NPS is an umbrella concept that indicates new substances as well as substances discovered from decades but recently spread or consumed in renewed ways, or substances used for different purposes from those for which they have been created. In 2015 the UNODC Early Warning Advisory on NPS reported more than 600 substances (UNODC 2015), to which we refer in the present study. However, the spread and the legal status of NPS can differ from country to country, and from time to time, as a legal substance becomes illegal when detected by the authorities and recorded.
The research project was designed to integrate the knowledge about substances and technical
procedures necessary for prevention and harm reduction interventions with knowledge about
consumption patterns, both inside and outside recreational contexts, by analysing drug users’ points
of view, perceptions and attitudes. Indeed studies on NPS users are scarce and consist mainly in
prevalence-of-use rates, while motivations for consumption are little known.
the research aimed at providing insights about cultural meanings related to NPS use by
comparing data collected in three different European countries, i.e. Italy, Portugal and Slovenia.
Indeed, cultural differences can represent specific protective/risk factors that should be taken into
consideration when planning interventions.
To reach the mentioned aims, a mixed-method research design was adopted, including a web-based research.