Psychoactive substances

February 11, 2016 2:52 pm

Have you heard about the new legislation?

A law against psychoactive substances has been long overdue. Psychoactive substances which are also known as legal highs or club drugs have a similar effect to illegal drugs like cocaine and Heroin. Suppliers often brand legal highs as products we use in our everyday lives such as plant food and bath salts which is why up until now, they have not been taken as seriously as Class A drugs, although the effects can be just as harmful. Unfortunately the reality is that people are misusing these substances; for recreational use and to ‘get high’.

The government state that ‘a substance produces a psychoactive effect in a person if, by stimulating or depressing the person’s central nervous system, it affects the person’s mental functioning or emotional state.’

spiceAlthough these drugs can legally be sold, they should not be used for anything other than what they were originally made for. Legal highs can be more dangerous than other drugs because nobody knows what they contain or what the effects are. It is becoming more common that people are producing synthetic substitutes for drugs such as Cannabis, some of which go by the street names Black Mamba and Spice. The law now wants to ensure that all products state on the packaging ‘not fit for human consumption’ therefore putting an end to the loophole that previously branded these substances as legal.

People consider legal highs to be safer than class A drugs because they are permitted but when they are used improperly they can be extremely harmful. There are several main types of psychoactive drugs, all of which have a very different effect on the body. These include;

  • Hallucinogens  

  • Narcotics

  • Inhalants

  • Depressants

  • Stimulants

Legal highs cross these categories and often cause several of these effects at one time, as result you don’t know how your body will react. Psychoactive substances essentially contain mind altering chemicals but so do products such as coffee and Red Bull. In the new legislation the government outlines certain legal substances which are exempt, such as;

  • Controlled drugs

  • Medicinal products

  • Alcohol or alcoholic products

  • Nicotine and tobacco products

  • Caffeine and food.

This is where the law against legal highs becomes blurred as people are confused about what they can and cannot consume. Side effects of Legal highs include paranoia and seizures and over recent years they have been linked to numerous deaths. Whether you are clear about what is legal and what is not, the best option is to steer clear of drugs altogether in order to escape the harms associated with them.

Categorised in: