University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

By the same authors

"Marvin, the Paranoid Android": The Case of an Alpha-PVP User in the Expanding Galaxy of NPS

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Simonato Pierluigi
  • Bulsis Laura
  • Negri Attilio
  • Bansal Gurjeet K
  • Pessa Gloria
  • Mioni Davide
  • Giuseppe Borgherini
  • Martinotti Giovanni
  • Schifano Fabrizio
  • Giulia Perini
  • Corazza Ornella
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-313
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
Early online date16 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2018


Alpha-PVP can be defined as a novel psychoactive substance (NPS)-more specifically, a novel synthetic cathinone with unpredictable stimulant effects in humans. "Marvin" arrived at a Dual Diagnosis Unit at Parco dei Tigli, Italy. He underwent a 30-day rehabilitation program to overcome his problematic Alpha-PVP use as a psychonaut. We conducted an online search to understand the properties of Alpha-PVP and its presence in scientific literature, reviewing official reports and the online drug market (e.g., fora, webpages). In the Dual Diagnosis Unit, Marvin completed the 30-day rehabilitation program that included assessments and group and individual cognitive behavioral therapy. Alpha-PVP is a synthetic cathinone with stimulant properties, available in the online market but with unpredictable effects in humans. The present case reports an important risk of psychosis in a psychonaut patient who arrived and declared its intense use before admission to our Unit. This article describes the psychopathological effects of the novel compound Alpha-PVP in a psychonaut patient. Patients attending clinics that have used Alpha-PVP pose a new challenge for traditional services of mental health and addiction.

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