New Psycoactive Substances Advanced Research

In collaboration with
dipartimento politiche antidroga

UOL - Medicina Legale

Laboratorio Tossicologia Forense





Represent a group of molecules in which the main skeleton is constituted by a tryptamine, a natural alkaloid. Some are natural neurotransmitters (serotonin, for example), other are present in plants and have hallucinogenic activity, such as dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a component of decoctions of Ayahuasca, used by some populations of the Amazon for hallucinogenic properties, and psylocibin, present in some hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Some tryptamines are of synthetic origin and have been designed and synthesized for research purpose, others are in circulation as new psychoactive substances. Some of the tryptamines found in the market are: 5-MeO-DMT, 5-MeO-DPT, AMT, 4-AcO-DMT, 4-AcODiPT, 5-HTP, psilocin, psilocybin, DET, DMT, etriptamine, 5-MeO-DALT, 5-MeOMiPT, 4-AcO-DMT.

Natural tryptamines circulate as dried vegetable preparations (for example, dried mushrooms), while the synthesis of tryptamines may be in the form of capsules, tablets, powders, or in liquid form. Generally they are ingested, snorted, smoked or injected. The National Early Warning System has experienced particularly in 2013, some reports of seizure of tryptamine on the Italian territory, such as 5-MeO-DALT, the 5-MeOMiPT, the 4-AcO-DMT, the DET.

Chemical structures of some tryptamines

Chemical structures of some tryptamines registered by the national Early Warning System.




Intoxication cases registered in Italy


In 2011, in Italy, the National Early Warning System has reported one case of acute intoxication related to the assumption of Ayahusca containing the tryptamine DMT.

Photos of products notified


Photos of some products resulted to contain tryptamines

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Legal status


In Italy, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), N,N-diethyltryptamine (DET), the etryptamine, psilocybin, psilocin and fungi of the genus Stropharia, Psilocybe and Conocybe, are illegal (Schedule I Section A of the Law on the regulation of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, prevention, care and rehabilitation of drug addiction Presidential Decree 309/90 as amended). These molecules are not easily detectable to the normal screening test but are subsequently detected through blood tests and urine tests conducted in the laboratory. In case of positivity driving a car, motorcycle or scooter, the law enforcement may withdraw the license, impound the vehicle, impose fines, make report to the Prefecture, pick up the passport.