New Psychoactive Substances

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  • New Psychoactive Substances

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An example of what New Psychoactive Substances looks like
Various - tablets, crystalline powder, solids, liquids etc?

Desired Effects:

Varied. Many substances will have stimulant or hallucinogenic effects or a combination of both.

Side Effects:

Varied. See individual substances for more information, if available.

Long term risks:

Very little controlled research is available for these substances and therefore side effects and possible dangers are not yet fully known. Even if a substance is sold as 'legal' or 'herbal' does not mean that it is safe for consumption. Deaths have been reported as a result of using these substances.

Risks may include confusion, drowsiness, Paranoia, manic behaviour, panic, heart attack, Coma, seizures and death. Experimenting with these substances is risky as no-one can be certain what they are taking or how they will react. See individual substances for more information, if available.

Short term risks:

The main effects of almost all psychoactive substances, including 'legal highs', can be defined with three categories: stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens (psychedelics).
Some may be smoked, taken orally as tablets, snorted in powder form or injected.
A huge variety of new psychoactive substances have become available in the last 25 years, marketed as safer and legal alternatives to illicit drugs whilst mimicking their effects. They are often made in laboratories and sold via the Internet. With a huge number of chemicals currently available (and can potentially be produced) the UK government have brought in changes to the Misuse of Drugs Act in an attempt to classify the chemicals and any derivatives of them.

Suppliers consequently market them labelled as plant food, bath crystals, research chemicals, or pond cleaner in order to disguise their recreational use and get around the drug laws. Some substances may not yet be controlled by the Misuse of Drugs Act, but may be controlled under the Medicines Act.

Slang Names include: Benzofury, Bounce, Charge, Chicken Powder, Dimitri, Dr. Death, Drone, Frenzy, Ivory Wave, Killer, M-Kat, N-Bomb, Pink Ecstasy, Rave, Sparkle, Red Mitsubishi, White Magic, White Pearl, Woof-Woof, Vanilla Sky, 5-IT, 7-Up and many many more.

Synthetic cannabinoids are chemicals that are made to act like the active part of cannabis, slang names include Spice, Black Mamba and Blue Cheese amongst others.
Some may be derived from intoxicating plant species; some may be chemicals made in laboratories. Substances may be imported; sold over the internet and in some specialist shops.
Most areas of the UK have 'street agencies' or projects (sometimes called community drug services or community drug teams) which offer a range of services including information and advice, counselling, and sometimes support groups and complementary therapies such as acupuncture. Some services have extended working hours and may offer weekend support. If use of this substance becomes a problem you can seek help, advice and counselling from a service in your area. GPs can make referrals to specialist drug services. For a description of what the different drug services do, choose helping services from here or the main menu.

Parents & other relatives

Many drug agencies also provide lots of advice and support to parents, family members and partners of people using drugs. They may provide relative support groups or advice, guidance and counselling on a one to one basis.

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