Novel psychoactive substances and induced phenomena in psychopathology: the lysergic psychoma

G. Martinotti (1), M. Di Nicola (2), D. Quattrone (4), R. Santacroce (1), F. Schifano (3), R. Murray (4), M. Di Giannantonio (1)

1 Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences, Institute of Psychiatry, “G. d’Annunzio” University of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy; 2 Institute of Psychiatry and Psychology, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy; 3 Department of Pharmacy, Pharmacology, Clinical Science, University of Hertfordshire, Herts, UK; 4 Department of Psychosis Studies, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience, King’s College of London, London, United Kingdom.


Novel psychoactive substances (NPS) are defined as new narcotic/psychotropic drugs that are not controlled by the United Nations’ Conventions on Narcotic Drugs (1961) or Psychotropic Substances (1971), but which may pose a comparable public health threat. The use of NPS is an emerging issue that will challenge psychopathology for years to come. The knowledge of health professionals about the acute/chronic physical and psychopathological manifestations associated with NPS intake is still scarce and fragmentary.

The lysergic psychoma is a construct that may be pivotal in the understanding of phenomena induced by NPS in general, not only by lysergic hallucinogens. The model of hexogen psychosis developed by Karl Bonhoeffer may help to understand what happens during and after the intake of these substances.

More clinical studies are needed to clarify these aspects and the importance of the hexogen model, not only in the perspective of toxic psychosis. This latter may represent a heuristic model that can help to better understand the psychotic prozess as a whole.

Scarica il PDF