The EU-MADNESS project

Following a call in 2013 for funding proposals under the heading of Drug Prevention and Information, the European Commission awarded funding to a multi-institutional partnership across five countries led by the University of Hertfordshire, UK, to undertake a project looking at Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS).

This project was called EU-MADNESS, standing for EUropean-wide, Monitoring, Analysis and knowledge Dissemination on Novel/Emerging pSychoactiveS: integrated EU NPS monitoring & profiling to prevent health harms and update professionals.  The aims of the 24-month project, which started on 1 April 2014 and was led by Professor Fabrizio Schifano, were: “to monitor, test, profile, and feed back into education and prevention knowledge relating to the types of NPS emerging in Europe, their associated characteristics and potential harms”.

The project had four integrated Workstreams (WS).

WS 1 monitored and analysed fatalities and ‘near-misses’ related to NPS ingestion.  Data from these reports informed the choice of compounds investigated in WS 2 and WS 3.

WS 2 linked spectral data of established drugs of abuse with their biological data generated by WS 3

WS 3 examined pharmacological and behavioural effects of NPS; which together with information from WS 2 facilitated the development of computational models for recognising and predicting mode of action, properties and potency of unknown NPSs according to their likely chemical structure.

WS 4 involved the preparation of educational materials and resources on NPS, in a number of European languages, on the health risks of NPS for use in inter-professional medical, pharmacy and health education settings.

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Since for most NPS only little is known of their pharmacology and/or long-term…


Meet the team

The team presents with a long term history of dealing with NPS/misusing…


Become a member

Being a Member is an effective way of establishing new contacts across Europe…


Key mile stones of the project

1 April 2014

Project launch

29-30 April 2014

Partners’ kick-off meeting (London)

‘Kick-off’ meeting to be held on 29 & 30 April 2014 at the McLaurin Building, University of Hertfordshire De Havilland Campus, 4 Bishops Close, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 9NE
10-11 March 2015

Working Group Meeting 1 (London)

Working Group Meeting 1 (London)
31 March 2015

Annual Review and Progress Report to the EU Commission

Annual Review and Progress Report to the EU Commission
16-17 February 2016

Working Group Meeting 2 (Rome) and Project Conclusion

Working Group Meeting 2 (Rome) and Project Conclusion

Recent Tweets

Project partners

University of Hertfordshire
St George’s, University of London
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
The University of Cagliari
Semmelweis University - Department of Forensic and Insurance Medicine
European Institute of Health Promotion
Anti-Drugs Policy Department, Rome
Università Politecnica delle Marche – Istituto di medicina legale
Kliniken/ Institut der Universität Duisburg-Essen Klinik für abhängiges Verhalten und Suchtmedizin
University of Edinburgh - Clinical Pharmacology Unit
University “G.d’Annunzio” - Department of Neuroscience and Imaging
IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute)