New Psychoactive Substances. A Brief Insight By leigh westmore. Aims and Objectives. Definition History Availability Club Drug Policy Conclusions Q&A. N ew P sychoactive S ubstances or Legal Highs. Specifically, a legal high is a chemical which is :
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A Brief Insight By leighwestmore
(a) not controlled by the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act;
(b) not licensed for legal use (like alcohol and tobacco);
(c) not advertised/sold – and therefore not regulated - as a medicine (Medicines Act 1968) “plant food – not for human consumption”
EMCDDA says it is struggling - 81 new psychoactive substances were seen for the first time in 2013 up from the 2012 figure of 73. A total of over 350 now being monitored.
Monitoring identified 651 websites selling “legal” – Free Samples around 250 such shops in the UK (plus an unknown number of alternative retail outlets). People move onto online sales to save money.
There were an estimated 1 900 mephedrone users entering treatment in the United Kingdom in 2011/12, with more than half of them under the age of 18. Overall less mephedrone use…..
Romania NPS was primary drug in 37% compared to 21 % heroin.
“While mephedrone can still technically be regarded as an NPS, it has become sufficiently embedded in the UK drug scene for its overall prevalence and other information to be captured by national data sets. Beyond that, there is no robust data giving a picture of patterns of NPS use across the UK” - DrugScope
Head Shops 1990’s – Herbal highs , Salvia , Guarana, LSA,
BZP as a replacement for mdma/ecstacy from New Zealand
Legal Highs Came to public attention around 2008/09 as substances deliberately ‘designed’ to mimic the effects of controlled drugs while at the same time ‘designed’ to be outside the scope of the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Increased control of Precursor material.
Manufacturers look at Chemistry and the law
Global Trade in Drugs and Precursor materials
Experimentation by pharmaceutical companies Patents redeveloped, Medical research into Cannabinoids agonists and Neuropsychopharmacolgy into NBOMe’s Pain relief and Prescription loopholes regards Etizolam.
Dark web/smart shops
Simplicity/Paypal/bitcoin Purity, reliability
Global Capitalist markets
3 Main according to Drugscope
Stimulants. Ecstacy and MDMA replacement. Mephedrone, MPDV, NRG-1, Benzo Fury, MDAI, ethylphenidatemethiopropamine. Pills can contain multiple chemicals in various proportions, and change as and when compounds are banned. No real way of knowing content. 5-apb now 5-eapb, doses change effects change/duration etc..
Cannabinoids Most prolific NPS - Clockwork Orange, Black Mamba, Exodus Damnation, spice some can contain multiple blends of synthetics agonists, constantly changing.
SCs are 2 to 3 times more likely than cannabis to produce sympathomimetic effects (tachycardia, hypertension), and 5 times more likely to produce hallucinations – with an increased risk of seizures. “No antidote exists”
Hallucinogens; NBOMe-series. (Methoxetamine (MXE) Diphenidine, methoxphenidine)
Opiates – Ah 7921 banned W-15-7 and W-19, both potent µ-opioid agonists have also been seen. O-desmethyltramadol now controlled. Bromodol still available 504x potency morphine. “serenity”. Fentanyl Analogues available online Carfentanyl 0.1g – 10000 doses. Kratom can be bought on ebay.
Benzodiazepines. Phenazepam (banned) Etizolam, Diclazepam, Flubromazepam. Young people taking risks irrational decisions poly using.
Cognitive Enhancers – Racetams, Adderall, - “limitless”!!!
Drugs Controlled by the 1971 Misuse of Drugs act ………….
Easily available from European Smart shops
3-mmc!!! – 4-mmc is mephedrone….
Over 50 different Mephedrone type drugs have been produced.
legislation in Ireland 2010 effectively banning head shops, much of the trade has shifted online and onto the street.
Poland Modified “consumer Protection laws” and redefined Health Policies.
Austria Uses Medicine Licence Laws protected criminalising users but stopped the retail market.
Latvia and Bulgaria; Analogue system: legislation includes a more general definition of ‘similarity in pharmacological activity’, as well as ‘similarity in chemical structure’.
Gary Henderson, Journal of Forensic Science 1988
“In the view of this author, it is likely that the future drugs of abuse will be synthetics rather than
plant products. They will be synthesized from readily available chemicals, may be derivatives of
pharmaceuticals, will be very potent, and often very selective in their action. In addition, they will be marketed very cleverly.”