Home > CASSANDRA (computer assisted solutions for studying the availability and distribution of novel psychoActive substances).

Deluca, Paolo and Drummond, C and Davey, Z and Tesconi, M and Marchetti, A and Bacciy, C and La Polla, NM and Van Hout, Marie Claire (2015) CASSANDRA (computer assisted solutions for studying the availability and distribution of novel psychoActive substances).

CASSANDRA seeks to create a multidisciplinary, cost effective approach to investigating the supply chain and diffusion of Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS), by incorporating cutting edge technologies and new social trend indicators into the monitoring of NPS.


CASSANDRA has been developed in partnership with the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, United Kingdom, the Institute of Informatics and Telematics of the CNR, Pisa - Italy, and the Substance Abuse Research Centre, Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), Ireland.

This partnership brings together expertise from different fields of research to develop a novel and innovative methodology to understand the supply chain and diffusion of NPS. This project will also capitalize on existing research and the strengths of the Psychonaut 2002, Psychonaut EWS, ReDNet, CODEMISUSED and ALICE RAP projects which for the past 10 years have investigated the role of the Internet in shaping drug use; On the work carried out at WIT which has shown how underground websites (Deep Web) are emerging as ideal market places for both illicit and licit substances, which are also set to revolutionise contemporary drug distribution and use, and are increasingly becoming very popular and more reliable and secure than negotiating illicit drug markets. It will also make use of the know-how developed in the past few years by the CNR as part of the CAPER, OpeNER, ASIA, and SoS projects which exploit open access information from several social media platforms and websites to find hidden connections among users, monitor social media for the detection and the analysis of events, and developed the technology needed to retrieve, store and analyse online data.
Therefore, this project aims at using infodemiology, open source intelligence and qualitative methods to map the Internet to describe the supply chain and diffusion of the most used NPS. In particular we aim to:

1) Map the availability and distribution chain of NPS across multiple websites and online environments (e.g. Tor, social media).
2) Describe how the availability, promotion and distribution of NPS are evolving through out the duration of the project.
3) Describe the life cycle stages of any given substance: Introduction, growth, maturity and/or decline. Including the displacement of established illegal drugs and/or other NPS.


Start Date:February 2015
End Date:January 2017
Research Status:In Progress
Funding/Commissioning:Funded under the EC Justice 2013 Call Drug Prevention and Information Programme (DPIP) (Commissioning & Funding Body)
Dissemination Method:Peer-reviewed Paper, Published Report
Item Type:Research Project
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Electronic Only)
Related URLs:
Subjects:B Drugs and alcohol substances > New (novel) psychoactive substances
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Marketing and public relations (advertising) > Internet retailing (online sales)
VA Geographic area > Europe

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