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Novel Psychoactive Substances and Behavioral Addictions

Call for Papers

The first novel (or new) psychoactive substance (NPS) of recent times was 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) or ‘ecstasy’ in the mid-1990s. Since then, over 700 NPSs and products allegedly containing them have been identified. NPS include a wide range of synthetic cathinones and cannabinoids, the ketamine analogue methoxetamine, and the phenethylamines derivatives, just to mention a few examples. Despite the rapid growth in the production and sale of these synthesized chemical products, there is still a distinct paucity of evidence-based information available for health and other professionals working in the field of drug addiction. There is a serious lack of up-to-date scientific literature on NPS effects, potential risks, pharmacological effects, and forms of interventions.

At the same time, on the other side, behavioral addictions, also known as “addiction without the substance”, are also rapidly increasing, with pathological gambling and internet gaming disorder at the highest level. Pathological gambling is a prevalent public health problem associated with depression, substance misuse, crime, and suicide, involving dysfunction in several brain regions, particularly the frontal cortex and striatum. Neurochemical findings suggest roles for dopaminergic and serotonergic systems, but results from clinical trials seem more equivocal.

With this special issue, we invite investigators to contribute with original research articles as well as review articles that will stimulate the continuing efforts to understand these dramatic changes in the addiction field. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Evolution of the drug scenario: biological, behavioral, and sociological aspects
  • Description, classification, and diffusion of Novel Psychoactive Substances
  • Description, classification, and epidemiology of behavioral addictions
  • Neurobiological consequences of NPS’s use
  • Pharmacodynamic aspects and NPS
  • Possible pharmacological strategies for NPS abuse/intoxication
  • Psychopathological symptoms induced by NPS
  • Neurobiological causes and consequences of pathological gambling
  • Pharmacotherapy of pathological gambling
  • Psychiatric comorbidities of behavioural addictions
  • Prevention, innovation, and e-Health

Before submission authors should carefully read over the journal's Author Guidelines, which are located at Prospective authors should submit an electronic copy of their complete manuscript through the journal Manuscript Tracking System at according to the following timetable:

Manuscript DueFriday, 18 April 2014
First Round of ReviewsFriday, 11 July 2014
Publication DateFriday, 5 September 2014

Lead Guest Editor

  • Giovanni Martinotti, Department of Neuroscience and Imaging, University “G.d’Annunzio”, Chieti, Italy

Guest Editors

  • Ornella Corazza, Department of Postgraduate Medicine, School of Life and Medical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, College Lane Campus, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK
  • Sophia Achab, Mental Health and Psychiatry Department, University Hospital, Geneve, Switzerland
  • Zsolt Demetrovics, Department of Clinical Psychology and Addiction, Institute of Psychology, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary