The Psychonaut Web Mapping Project finishes in December 2009. A large part of this final period has been dedicated to assessing the efficacy of the web mapping system and project database.
We are pleased that a number of health professionals, agencies and organisations in the EU and elsewhere have been interested in accessing and contributing to the project database and technical reports. This has allowed us to begin to develop a sustainable resource for drug information.
The efficacy of the system itself can be highlighted by our ability to identify and track the most significant recreational drug trends of 2008/2009: Spice (and the synthetic cannbinoids), and Mephedrone (and related cathinones). The Psychonaut Web Mapping project was able to identify both substances very early and follow developments as they occurred (e.g. in diffusion, availability, and legislation) across the EU.
The project has indeed shown how valuable the Internet is for research on new drugs and emerging trends, and how important a regular monitoring of the web is to keep health professionals and agencies updated about the latest developments in the recreational drug market.
Many thanks to those of you have supported the project, and we hope you will continue to be involved in the future projects of the research group.
Prof. Fabrizio Schifano
Psychonaut Web Mapping Project
Despite the funded project period ending in December 2009, the Psychonaut Web Mapping database and technical reports will continue to be developed and updated.
As we are trying to build up the database as a sustainable resource, expanding our network and setting up a two-way dialogue with relevant professionals, organisations, agencies is extremely important. We encourage people to continue to be involved in this process over the coming months.
So, if you are interested in registering to access the database, technical reports, and other resources then please continue to contact us by email, or by completeing the online form via our website, www.psychonautproject.eu.
Bromo-Dragonfly (1-(8-bromobenzo[1,2-b;4,5-b']difuran-4-yl) -2-aminopropane) is a potent hallucinogenic drug active in low doses (from 200 μg). Although commonely related to phenethylamine, it has a distinct structure and belongs to a class of substances called benzodifurans.
B-fly was initially identified by the Psychoanut Project through searches conducted in Italy, Norway, Belgium and Finland in 2008. However, first reported cases of recreational abuse can be traced back to 2001. On the recreational scene, the substance comes under a variety of names such as 'DOB-Dragonfly, Dragonfly, BrDF, or simply B-fly'
It is typically sold online in the form of blotter paper, liquid and less commonly as pills. According to users, the effects of this drug as very similar to those of LSD, although much longer lasting (1-3 days). Its primary route of administration is oral. After ingestion the onset of its effects can be delayed for up to 6 hours. This delay has often led users to ingest another dose of the product thinking that the first dose was inadequate to cause the effects and/or to use additional drugs while waiting for the first psychoactive effects to appear.
Reported adverse reactions include: nausea and vomiting, headache, hypertension, tachycardia, elevated blood pressure, lung collapse, gastrointestinal disturbances, muscle tension, tremor, body temperature fluctuations, anxiety, panic attacks, arrhythmia, heart murmurs, slight pupil dilatation, convulsion, stomach tightness, paranoid ideation, hallucinations, flashbacks, memory disturbances, confusion and even acute anxiety reactions with depersonification, derealization, paranoid ideation and panic attacks.
B-fly is a very toxic substance and the risk of overdose is very high. Since 2007 various hospitalizations and fatalities have been recorded in various EU Member States such as Sweden, Denmark and the UK. In October 2009, Bromo-Dragonfly receivied increased attention in online drug forum communities, when a batch was mislabeled and sold by an online retailer as the related, but much less potent, benzodifuran compound 2C-B-Fly. This is has been linked to a number of subsequent fatalities and non-fatal overdoses in the EU and US.
An article on Bromo-Dragonfly is in preparation.
Recreational Drugs European Network (ReDNet)
Members of the Psychonaut Web Mapping Research Group, are about to begin a new European Commission funded project. The 2-year ReDNet project, which is due to start in 2010, will pilot a variety of different ICT approaches, including SMS, virtual worlds, and multimedia applications, to deliver balanced harm reduction information about new drugs. The project will both target and involve young people and the professionals who work with them.
For further information about the upcoming ReDNet project please contact us.