ReDNet Research Project


The emergence of novel psychoactive substances (NPS), such as so-called ‘legal highs’, ‘novel compounds’, and ‘research chemicals' (e.g., Spice and other synthetic cannabinoids, mephedrone, and GBL), over the last few years, together with the role of the Internet both in the dissemination of positive and negative information regarding these new trends and as a widely accessible online marketplace, have become increasingly prominent issues in the fields of drug policy, substance use research, and public health. Both the number of largely unregulated substances, and the rapidity with which they appear and evolve predominantly online has led to challenges for health agencies, government organisations, substance misuse services, and (potential) users.

Despite increasing amounts of research and attention being given to this area, there is still a distinct paucity of information available for either professionals or people taking/thinking about taking novel psychoactive substances; NPS are not often mentioned in scientific and/or peer-reviewed literature, and there is limited reliable, up-to-date, and balanced information available on the potential short- and long-term risks associated with their use or misuse.

About the project

The Recreational Drugs European Network (ReDNet) project is a multi-site research study with the aim of improving the level of information available to young people (16-24) and professionals on the effects of these new recreational drugs and the potential health risks associated with their use. We also aim to explore the potential of a number of innovative information communication technologies (ICTs e.g., SMS, social networking sites, multimedia platforms) in the dissemination of accurate and non-judgmental information in a timely way, and in line with the needs of each of our target groups.
The ReDNet project will use the existing Psychonaut [EWS] project database together with information from available literature and online searches, and the involvement of the people who the information is for (i.e., young people and professionals) to:

  • Develop accurate information on new recreational drugs
  • Develop and pilot a variety of innovative and effective ICTs to disseminate this information
  • To assess the feasibility of the different ICTs and the relevance of the information being disseminated to the target groups
  • To inform future research in e-Health, selective prevention, and harm reduction using ICT

For more information please email us at info[at] or download our leaflet.

Also, if you are aged between 16 and 24 or you are a professional working with young people and/or people who use legal highs we want you to get involved in the study.

You can fill out our online survey, sign up to this contribute form, or you can do both.


We have just launched NewsBites which aims to provide regular weekly updates on Novel Psychoactive Substances from around the world. If you would like to receive it, sign up to our mailinglist.

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If you are interested in the project and want regular updates sign up to the mailing list and we will email you our Newsletter.

You can also download previous issues here:


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We are organising regular seminars at the ReDNet Virtual Studio in Second Life (SL).
This is the link to follow - more information on how to access the campus are provided in this document.

The next event will be held on: Wed, 8th February 2012 from 15.30 to 16.00 (UK Time)
Title: Drugs on the Internet: emerging trends in Europe.
Speaker: Ulrick Solberg

For further details please contact Ornella Corazza ([email protected]).
We look forward to seeing you all in SL!!
The ReDNet Research Team


As part of the ReDNet project we will survey health and other professionals as well as young people about their understanding and knowledge of legal highs across various countries in Europe.

There will also be an opportunity to actively contribute to the development of ICT tools and their content.

Please sign up to the contribute form if you would like to be involved and are happy for us to contact you in the near future.

Please note that these research activities have been approved by the Faculty of Health and Human Sciences ECDA, Pharmacy and postgraduate Medicine Ethics Committee at the University of Hertfordshire (PHAEC\10-42) and King's College London Ethics committee - REC Reference Number: PNM/10/11-85.


Do you know what is the most common legal high in your area/country? if so tell us or look at what others have said.