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Research and Advances in Psychiatry

Strategies of intervention to limit the novel synthetic opioids (NSO) escalation in Europe

Editorial, 40 - 42
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October 9th 2018 marked the entry into force of the EU-funded project JUSTSO (Analysis, knowledge dissemination, JUstice implementation and Special Testing of novel Synthetic Opioids) (1). The JUSTSO Project involves 10 European partners from Italy, Spain, Greece, Latvia, Germany. The project is aimed at studying Novel Synthetic Opioids (NSO), a class of psychoactive substances that mimic heroin and can be up to 10000 times more potent than heroin, being the cause of thousands of deaths in the US and Canada. NSO have been used to adulterate heroin, often taken by subjects made dependent on opioid pain killers. Given the growing use of opioid pain killers and NSO in Europe, the project intends to collect data on their diffusion and to develop effective intervention strategies to prevent their spread and to inform and educate the public in order to acquire a social awareness of their addiction liability and lethality.