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Maria Stella Graziani

Deputy Director
Martina Zaninotto

Associate Editors
Ferruccio Ceriotti
Davide Giavarina
Bruna Lo Sasso
Giampaolo Merlini
Martina Montagnana
Andrea Mosca
Paola Pezzati
Rossella Tomaiuolo
Matteo Vidali

EIC Assistant
Francesco Busardò

International Advisory Board Khosrow Adeli Canada
Sergio Bernardini Italy
Marcello Ciaccio Italy
Eleftherios Diamandis Canada
Philippe Gillery France
Kjell Grankvist Sweden
Hans Jacobs The Netherlands
Eric Kilpatrick UK
Magdalena Krintus Poland
Giuseppe Lippi Italy
Mario Plebani Italy
Sverre Sandberg Norway
Ana-Maria Simundic Croatia
Tommaso Trenti Italy
Cas Weykamp The Netherlands
Maria Willrich USA
Paul Yip Canada

Biomedia srl
Via L. Temolo 4, 20126 Milano

Responsible Editor
Giuseppe Agosta

Editorial Secretary
Chiara Riva
Biomedia srl
Via L. Temolo 4, 20126 Milano
Tel. 0245498282


ISSN print: 0393 – 0564
ISSN digital: 0392- 7091

BC: Articoli scritti da S. Graziano

New psychoactive substances: a descriptive review
New psychoactive substances: a descriptive review
<p>New psychoactive substances (NPS) are psychotropic drugs, that are used as alternatives to the classical scheduled drugs of abuse and are not under control of the United Nations&rsquo; 1961 Narcotic Drugs/1971 Psychotropic Substances conventions. NPS is a umbrella generic term including new synthetic and natural drugs such as synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic opioids, hallucinogens, synthetic cathinones and other stimulants. Many NPS were originally developed as therapeutic drug candidates and/or as pharmacological tools to investigate endogenous systems, although none of them were clinically tested. Due to the absence of experimental and clinical data of on NPS, pharmacological and toxicological data are rarely available. Therefore, NPS use may induce unknown and unexpected effects, including acute and chronic toxic effects, as reported in numerous cases of intoxication and deaths in Europe and worldwide. The rapid emergence of a large number of NPS on the global drug market poses a significant risk to public health and a challenge to drug policy. The present manuscript provides an updated review of the large number of new/novel/emerging psychoactive substances and their associated psychopathological consequences.</p>
Biochimica Clinica ; 46(4) 283-291
Rassegne - Reviews
Sistema Nazionale di Allerta Precoce, una piattaforma web per il contrasto alla diffusione delle Nuove Sostanze Psicoattive
The National Early Warning System, a web-based platform to prevent the spread of New Psychoactive Substances
<p>Introduction: the abuse of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) has been a major issue since the 1990s, due to the significant impact this phenomenon has on the society and public health. The Italian legislation, in line with the European legislation, is aimed to limit the NPS use in the Country through different intervention strategies.<br />Methods: the Department for Anti-Drug Policies (DPA) of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, has activated in Italy the National Early Warning System (SNAP) on NSP reporting, aimed at the early detection of potentially health-threatening phenomena related to the appearance of NPSs in the market. A second aim of the SNAP is the promotion of the technical-analytical expertise of laboratories for the detection of these substances.<br />Since June 2016, the DPA, where the National Focal Point (NFP) for the verification of the phenomenon of drug dependence is established, has entrusted the coordination of SNAP with the National Centre for Addiction and Doping (NCAD) of the &ldquo;Istituto Superiore di Sanit&agrave;&rdquo;. The Centre works with several partners, including the Pavia Poison Control Centre for clinical toxicology, the Unit of Forensic Toxicology of Sapienza University of Rome for bio-toxicological aspects, and the Central Directorate for Anti-Drug Services for national coordination of seizures operated by law enforcement agencies. To implement this network of collaboration, the NCAD has developed and activated a strategic &#39;web application&#39; that simplifies the collection of information across the Country, optimizing incoming/outgoing reports between all the involved authorities.<br />Results: the analysis of the information collected on NPS during 2020 through the SNAP platform, highlighted the circulation of 47 NSPs in Europe, including two synthetic cannabinoids with potential public health risks and the emergence of NPS belonging to the class of benzodiazepines and the benzimidazole family.<br />Conclusions: The SNAP is an important tool for identifying and notifying the spread of NSPs in our Country very rapidly.</p>
Biochimica Clinica ; 45(3) 267-280
Contributi Scientifici - Scientific Papers
Farmacotossicologia e metodologie di analisi dell’acido gamma-idrossibutirrico nel laboratorio clinico e forense
Pharmacotoxicology and analytical issues of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid in clinical and forensic laboratory
<p>Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) can be considered both an endogenous metabolite and a precursor of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) acting within the central nervous system as a neuromodulator.<br />Pharmacologically, GHB is classified as a central nervous system depressant and its mechanism of action involves interaction and binding with GABA-B receptors.<br />With the generic name of sodium oxybate, the sodium salt of GHB, is sold as a pharmaceutical product under the trade name of Xyrem&reg; when prescribed for the treatment of people with narcolepsy and with the name of Alcover&reg; when used to relieve alcohol withdrawal syndrome and treat alcohol dependence.<br />Between the end of the 90s of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first one, the abuse of GHB became increasingly widespread in the recreational field. The substance, often consumed in combination with alcohol, cannabis, ecstasy (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA), ketamine, has been converted in one of the most used &quot;club drugs&quot;, becoming one of the most serious health issues in the emergency department of many European and extra-European Countries because of the initial difficult clinical management of the growing number of cases of intoxication. At the same time, there was an increase of cases of sexual assaults of victims who were unaware they had been given GHB as odourless and colourless sedative substance.<br />In this narrative review, the three different aspects of GHB as endogenous neuromodulator, as prescription drug and as substance of abuse are illustrated. The main methods for qualitative and quantitative analysis in conventional and non-conventional biological matrices for clinical and forensic purposes are also described.</p>
Biochimica Clinica ; 44(4) 335-350
Rassegne - Reviews