The Psychonaut Web Mapping Project is a 2-year European Union funded project (January 2008 - December 2009) with the aim of developing a web scanning system to identify and categorise novel recreational drugs/psychoactive compounds, and new trends in drug use based on information available on the Internet.
This is a multi-site research project involving 8research centres in 7 European Countries. As a result we were able to formulate search engine queries and analyse drug related web content in 8 different languages, and have been able to pay particular attention to the qualitative analysis of drug-related slang used in each language (click here to read more about the project).
A database of novel psychoactive compounds has been developed based on those provisionally identified online, with aim of producing technical reports for those substances for which some level of diffusion in the EU recreational consumers' community has been confirmed.
Over the past two years the Psychonaut Web Mapping project has set up an integrated mapping and monitoring system of the Internet which has allowed the early identification of emerging trends in recreational drug abuse (for example Spice and mephedrone).
The project has also shown that it is possible to rely on the information available and shared on the Internet to build up a reasonably accurate understanding of the characteristics of these novel/recreational compounds. This information is vital for many health professionals and the online database and technical reports are trying to fill this gap in knowledge.You can read more about the outcomes and findings in the project's final report (click here to download it).
Meanwhile, if you would like to request access to the Psychonaut Web Mapping database and technical folders please make a database access request by contacting us directly or joining our mailing list. Alternatively, you can alert us of a novel compound or combination via the contribute form.