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Searching information on drug research projects

This database contains information gathered in the course of the ERANID project during 2013 and 2014. Principally, it contains details of research projects on illicit drugs carried out since 2010 within the six ERANID countries and funded by the European Committee: Belgium; France; Italy; Portugal; The Netherlands; and the United Kingdom. However, this database will not capture all illicit drugs research carried out within a country.

36 projects matched the selected criteria:

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New consumption (drug) behaviour and risk reduction

Funding country
Italy
Project starting year
2007
Project ending year
2010
Area(s) of research
Prevalence, incidence and patterns of drug use, Prevention responses, Harm reduction responses, Determinants of drug use, Consequences of drug use
Objectives
Understanding the new drug abuse behaviours, make guide lines for young people to prevent risk drug abuse and make a system for medical doctors about intoxication in emergency room.
Scientific discipline(s) involved
Epidemiology, Psychology, Sociology, Pharmacology
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Initial identified needs
The project born by the needs 1 - to understand the new tendency of young people 2 - there are not local guide lines about risk drug 3 - medical doctors in Emergency Room are not well formed about symptoms of new and classic drugs abuse
Performed by
Social Psychology center - University of Bologna
Emergency room of Reggio Emilia
Funded by
Ministry of health
Summary references
Website
Published reference(s)
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Community prevention strategy related to substance abuses

Utilizzo della strategia di prevenzione di comunità nel settore delle sostanze di abuso" (Community prevention)
Funding country
Italy
Project starting year
2008
Project ending year
2011
Area(s) of research
Prevention responses, Harm reduction responses, Determinants of drug use, Mechanism of drug use and effects, Methodology issues
Objectives
To develop prevention strategies based on community models and integration of different actors Implement strategies in different areas, mainly schools and web, also defining local networks
Scientific discipline(s) involved
Epidemiology, Political sciences, Psychology, Sociology, Pharmacology
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Initial identified needs
To underline the central issue of prevention of drug use/abuse in young people in different settings by using different tools, with a focus on community interventions
Performed by
Health Agency of Florence
Health Agency of Pisa
Health Agency of Grosseto
Funded by
Ministry of health (CCM)
Summary references
The major results can be found at www.ccm-network.it
Website
www.ccm-network.it; www.sostanze.info.it
Published reference(s)
see website www.sostanze.info.it
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THC GATE

Funding country
Italy
Project starting year
2010
Project ending year
2011
Area(s) of research
Mechanism of drug use and effects
Objectives
The main goal of the project was to determine if adolescent exposure to the active ingredient of Cannabis (Delta-9-THC) might increase vulnerability to abuse opiates and facilitate the appearance of cognitive, emotional and psychotic disturbances in genetically vulnerable individuals as studied in a genetic animal model (Lewis and Fischer344 inbred rats) The main objective of the project was to provide behavioral and neurochemical evidences that might be useful in preventive and therapeutic strategies for more forceful actions in the treatment and prevention of drug abuse. Basically, the aim is to ascertain, in a genetic animal model, the neurochemical correlates of vulnerability to drugs of abuse (Cannabis and heroin) and to verify the existence of a causal relationship between Cannabis use and increased vulnerability to other drugs, providing evidences for underlying neurochemical correlates.
Scientific discipline(s) involved
Neurosciences, Pharmacology
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Initial identified needs
The rationale of the project was to investigate likely differences in the long-term effects of adolescent Cannabis exposure in genetically vulnerable individuals as compared with less vulnerable ones. In particular differences in reward, cognitive and emotional functions were studied in a genetic animal model. The needs that justified the project come from the extensive use, among illicit drugs, of Cannabis derivatives worldwide especially in young people. Moreover several evidences suggest that Cannabis abuse might facilitate the appearance of psychotic syndromes in genetically vulnerable individuals (D’Souza et al. 2009; Fernandez-Espejo 2009) . On the other hand there is still a great debate on the hypothesized gateway effect of Cannabis to opiate abuse (Kandel et al. 2006).
Performed by
Department of Biomedical Sciences
Funded by
Dipartimento Politiche Antidroga
Summary references
Kandel DB, Yamaguchi K, Klein LC.(2006) Testing the Gateway Hypothesis. Addiction. 101(4):470-2. D’Souza DC, Sewell RA, Ranganathan M (2009) Cannabis and psychosis/schizophrenia: human studies. Eur. Arch. Psychiatry Clin. Neurosci. 259: 413-431. Fergusson D.M., Boden J.M. and Horwood L.J. (2006) Cannabis use and other illicit drug use: testing the cannabis gateway hypothesis. Addiction 101, 556-569. Fernandez-Espejo E, Viveros MP, Núñez L, Ellenbroek BA, Rodriguez de Fonseca F. (2009) Role of cannabis and endocannabinoids in the genesis of schizophrenia. Psychopharmacology 206(4):531-49. Hall W, Solowij N. (1998) Adverse effects of cannabis. Lancet 352(9140):1611-6.
Website
http://www.politicheantidroga.it/progetti-e-ricerca/progetti-dpa/sezione-8---ricerca/814-thc---gate/metodologia.aspx
Published reference(s)
Cristina Cadoni, Nicola Simola , Elena Espa, Sandro Fenu, and Gaetano Di Chiara TRAIN DEPENDENCE OF ADOLESCENT CANNABIS INFLUENCE ON HEROIN REWARD AND MESOLIMBIC DOPAMINE TRANSMISSION IN ADULT LEWIS AND FISCHER 344 RATSAddiction Biology (under revision)
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SMART SEARCH search for pharmacologically active, potentially dangerous compounds in commercially available products by using HRMS

Funding country
Italy
Project starting year
2010
Project ending year
2012
Area(s) of research
Prevalence, incidence and patterns of drug use, Law enforcement responses, Methodology issues
Objectives
the project aims at developing a high throughput, high reliability analytical approach based on high resolution mass spectrometry coupled to high performance liquid chromatography to detect and identify NPS in commercially available products (herbal blends, bath salts...) in order to monitor the penetration of these dangerous compounds in Italy. Another final aim is to provide information useful to include the identified compounds in the National Schedules of Illicit Drugs.
Scientific discipline(s) involved
Other medical sciences, Toxicology
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Initial identified needs
In the recent years new psychoactive substances (NPS) have been released into the market, often added to apparently "innocent" products easily available in the market. however NPS, known also as Smart Drugs because of a high addictive power and high psychoactivity and inherent toxicity represent a new danger particularly for the young generations. their atypical structure hider their detection by current methods. only the most recent analytical techniques are suitable for the purpose of identifying NPS in the market.
Performed by
University of Verona Italy
Dipartimento Politiche Antidroga, Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri
Polizia delle Comunicazioni - Polizia di Stato
Sistema Nazionale di Allerta Precoce
Direzione Centrale Servizi Antidroga - Ministero dell'Interno
Funded by
Dipartimento Politiche Antidroga, Rome, University of Verona
Summary references
http://www.politicheantidroga.it/comunicazione/notizie/2010/dicembre/smart-search.aspx
Website
http://www.politicheantidroga.it
Published reference(s)
• Gottardo R, Bertaso A, Pascali J, Sorio D, Musile G, Trapani E, Seri C, Serpelloni G, Tagliaro F. Micellar electrokinetic chromatography: a new simple tool for the analysis of synthetic cannabinoids in herbal blends and for the rapid estimation of their logP values. J Chromatogr A. 2012;1267:198-205. IF: 4.53. • Merola G, Aturki Z, D'Orazio G, Gottardo R, Macchia T, Tagliaro F, Fanali S. Analysis of synthetic cannabinoids in herbal blends by means of nano-liquid chromatography. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2012;71:45-53. IF: 2.967 • Liotta E, Gottardo R, Seri C, Rimondo C, Miksik I, Serpelloni G, Tagliaro F. Rapid analysis of caffeine in "smart drugs" and "energy drinks" by microemulsion electrokinetic chromatography (MEEKC). Forensic Sci Int. 2012; 220:279-83. IF: 2.301 • Gottardo R, Chiarini A, Dal Prà I, Seri C, Rimondo C, Serpelloni G, Armato U,Tagliaro F. Direct screening of herbal blends for new synthetic cannabinoids by MALDI-TOF MS. J Mass Spectrom. 2012; 47:141-6. IF: 3.268 • Merola G, Gentili S, Tagliaro F, Macchia T. Determination of different recreational drugs in hair by HS-SPME and GC/MS. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2010; 397:2987-95. IF: 2.301
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Short and long term effects of marijuana intake in adolescent age on immune resposes: traslational study in animal models and human.

Funding country
Italy
Project starting year
2010
Project ending year
2012
Area(s) of research
Consequences of drug use, Mechanism of drug use and effects
Objectives
The present study demonstrates for the first time that Δ9-THC exposure in adolescent mice can trigger immune alterations that persist into adulthood, time after the last Δ9-THC administration. These long term modifications are different from the one observed immediately after the end of Δ9-THC intake, suggesting the presence of a proinflammatory cytokine pattern and a general blunted Th responses. The altered immune system may condition the susceptibility of the host to immune related pathologies in adulthood.
Scientific discipline(s) involved
Pharmacology
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Initial identified needs
Marijuana and single cannabinoids have been shown to affect the functional activities of rodent and human immune cells including B-lymphocytes, large granular lymphocytes, T-lymphocytes, macrophages, and natural killer cells (Sacerdote et al. 2000b; Massi et al. 2000; Cabral and Dove Pettit 1998; Klein et al. 2000; Klein and Cabral 2006).Cannabinoids are potent anti-inflammatory agents and they exert their effects through induction of apoptosis, inhibition of cell proliferation, suppression of cytokine production and induction of T-regulatory cells (Tregs) (Klein 2005; Pandey et al. 2011; Nagarkatti et al. 2009). Collectively, the studies suggest that cannabis modulates both innate and acquired immunity, causes a switch in the balance of Th1 and Th2 functional activities (Newton et al. 2009;Klein 2005; Nagarkatti et al. 2009) , and studies in the experimental animals have suggested that cannabis exposure can enhance mortality and morbidity during infections (Cabral and Dove Pettit 1998; Friedman et al. 2003; Kaushik et al. 2011). Marijuana, is one of the most commonly used drugs of abuse worldwide (Berdyshev 2000). Recent data estimate that its use starts in the period from 12 to 18 years of age (SAMHSA 2004), though even earlier use (9–10 years) is now anecdotally reported. Recent extensive work has focussed on the possibility that exposure of adolescent individuals to marijuana components might significantly affect neuropsychobiology in adulthood (Rubino et al. 2008; Rubino et al. 2012; Tomasiewicz 2012). In contrast, against a wide knowledge on the immunomodulatory effects of marijuana components, little is known about the impact that adolescent exposure to marijuana can have on immune parameters in the adolescent organism, and whether these effects are long lasting and could eventually modify immune responses in adulthood.
Performed by
University of Milano, Immunopharmacology Unit, Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences
Funded by
Dipartimento Politiche Antidroga, Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri
Summary references
Website
Published reference(s)
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'2013-2014 AQUADRUGS project : An estimate of the consumption of narcotics in the general population through analysis of waste waters. Study of the trends of consumption and of the appearance of new substances through a national network survey.

Progetto AQUADRUGS 2013-2014: “Stima del consumo di sostanze stupefacenti nella popolazione mediante analisi delle acque reflue. Studio dei trend di consumo e della comparsa di nuove sostanze mediante una rete di rilevamento nazionale”
Funding country
Italy
Project starting year
2013
Project ending year
2013
Area(s) of research
Prevalence, incidence and patterns of drug use, Methodology issues
Objectives
To estimate drug consumption in the population of some cities in Italy and to compare with estimates from population surveys
Scientific discipline(s) involved
Epidemiology, Other discipline, Toxicology, Statistics or epidemiology
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Initial identified needs
The project is based on wastewater analysis, as a new tool to estimate drug consumption in the population.
Performed by
Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri/Department of Environmental Health Sciences
Funded by
Dipartimento Politiche Antidroga
Summary references
Zuccato E, Chiabrando C, Castiglioni S, Bagnati R, Fanelli R. Estimating community drug abuse by wastewater analysis. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2008, 116: 1027-1032. Zuccato E, Castiglioni S, Tettamanti M, Olandese R, Bagnati R, Melis M, Fanelli R. Changes in illicit drug consumption patterns in 2009 detected by wastewater analysis. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2011, 118: 464-469
Website
Published reference(s)
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Cannabis abuse in adolescence as a risk factor for psychiatric diseases; an experimental approach (Adocannabis)

Funding country
Italy
Project starting year
2010
Project ending year
2013
Area(s) of research
Consequences of drug use, Mechanism of drug use and effects
Objectives
The first aim of this project was to characterize the phenotype of adult rats exposed to chronic THC treatment in adolescence highlighting the presence of schizophrenic like behaviors.Then to study the neurobiological basis of this effect, during a time window that extends from mid-adolescence (46 post natal day, PND), to late adolescence (60 PND) till adulthood (75 PND , we monitored in the prefrontal cortex the effect of adolescent exposure to THC on the maturation of the endocannabinoid system, on the occurrence of synaptic rearrangements (by monitoring synaptic markers such as Postsynaptic Density Protein-95 (PSD-95), and subunits of the AMA) and NMDA receptors as well as by counting spine density on the dendrites of pyramidal neurons) and on the Gaba system component. Moreover to assess the functional consequence at adulthood of the disruption in the endocannabinoid signaling triggered by adolescent exposure to THC, we evaluated changes in endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity in the limbic part of the medial PFC, on acutely dissected brain slices from adult animals. This complex approach seems suggest that the impairment in the endocannabinoid system maturation induced by THC in adolescence might have an impact on the correct neuronal refinement peculiar of the adolescent brain leading to altered adult brain functionality and behavior
Scientific discipline(s) involved
Neurosciences, Pharmacology
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Initial identified needs
Due to the high cannabis consumption in adolescence there is an urgent need to clarify whether this behavior can favour the occurence of psychiatric diseases later in life. The epidemiological data are often contraddictory and suffer of several limitations thus an experimental approach can help to clarify the problem through controlled experiments and allow to study the neruobiological substrates of this vulnerability
Performed by
Istituto Italiano di tecnologia, Dipartimento neuroscienze, Genova
Consiglio nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto di Chimica biomolecolare, Pozzuoli ( napoli)
Funded by
dipartimento delle politiche antidroga
Summary references
Website
Published reference(s)
Chronic URB597 treatment at adulthood reverted most depressive-like symptoms induced by adolescent exposure to THC in female rats. Realini N, Vigano' D, Guidali C, Zamberletti E, Rubino T, Parolaro D. Neuropharmacology. 2011 Feb-Mar;60(2-3):235-43. The endocannabinoid system and schizophrenia: integration of evidence. Zamberletti E, Rubino T, Parolaro D.Curr Pharm Des. 2012;18(32):4980-90. ADOLESCENT THC EXPOSURE RESULTS IN ALTERATIONS OF PREFRONTAL CORTEX GABAERGIC SIGNALING IN THE ADULTHOOD: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF PSYCHOTIC-LIKE BEHAVIORS Erica Zamberletti1, Sarah Beggiato3, Luca Steardo Jr5, Pamela Prini1, Tiziana Antonelli3, Luca Ferraro4, Tiziana Rubino1 and Daniela Parolaro1,2, Submitted Neurobiology of Disease
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Comet Study

Funding country
Italy
Project starting year
2012
Project ending year
2013
Area(s) of research
Consequences of drug use, Mechanism of drug use and effects
Objectives
To evaluate if the marijuana smoke induces genotoxic effects in buccal mucosa cells.
Scientific discipline(s) involved
Legal sciences, Other medical sciences, Toxicology
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Initial identified needs
Cannabis, or marijuana, is the most commonly used illegal substance in most country. About 30% or more of young people now report use at least once per week or heavy use. Relevant psychotic disorders are well known, very few data are disposable in literature about their cytotoxic and/or genotoxic effects.
Performed by
Department of Public Health and Comunity Medicine-University of Verona
Department of Dependencies, ULSS 20 Verona
Funded by
Department Drug Policy
Summary references
Website
www.dronet.org
Published reference(s)
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Consortium of solidarity for prvention

CONSORZIO DI SOLIDARIETA’ PER LA PREVENZIONE
Funding country
Italy
Project starting year
2012
Project ending year
2013
Area(s) of research
Prevention responses, Determinants of drug use, Consequences of drug use, Supply and markets
Objectives
The goal of the project is the activation of a “Consortium of Solidarity” aimed at the prevention of the use of alcohol and drugs. The Consortium should allow the exchange and the sharing of best practices and prevention and communication materials at European level, with particular attention to environmental prevention .
Scientific discipline(s) involved
Neurosciences, Sociology
Read more…
Initial identified needs
The project responds to the need to provide information and communication scientifically oriented and checked out at international level to young people, schools and major educational agencies, but also to government administrations.
Performed by
CUEIM - University consortium of Industrial and Managerial Economy/ CUEIM-DPA working group
Funded by
Department for Anti-drugs Policies (DPA), CUEIM - Consorzio Universitario di Economia Industriale e Manageriale
Summary references
Website
Published reference(s)
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DB-I (Data Base Integrato)

Funding country
Italy
Project starting year
2011
Project ending year
2013
Area(s) of research
Prevention responses, Methodology issues
Objectives
The goal of the project is to create a national integrated database (DB-I), consisting of the institutional and non- institutional flows in the context of the phenomenon of the spread of drugs and of drug consumption. The DB-I will allow the storage and timely consultation of data and files from different sources. The web-based system will also allow the production of standardized and on-demand reports.
Scientific discipline(s) involved
Political sciences, Sociology
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Initial identified needs
The multiplicity of information flows in the sector of drugs and addiction stems from the need to collect information useful to the description of the phenomenon. Their different logical organization and information content results in a hard interpretation of them , resulting in data loss. The project responds to the need to reduce the various flows of information in standard technical references as those of EMCDDA and of SIND and to define the links between records of different streams of information.
Performed by
CUEIM - University consortium of Industrial and Managerial Economy/ CUEIM-DPA working group
Funded by
Department for Anti-drugs Policies, CUEIM - Consorzio Universitario di Economia Industriale e Manageriale
Summary references
Website
Published reference(s)
Although every reasonable effort is made to present accurate information, ERANID makes no guarantees of any kind and cannot be held liable for any incorrect information or external hyperlinks.

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