New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)

Substances which produce the same, or similar effects, to drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy, but were not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act until May 26th 2016.

Former Legal Highs (NPS)
  • Most ‘Former Legal Highs’ are sold as pills, capsules, powders, seeds, crystals and liquids.
  • The pills vary in size, shape and colour and sometimes have distinctive markings printed or carved into them.
  • The powders vary from white to brown in colour and from flour-like to little crystals in consistency.
  • Pills, tablets and capsules tend to be swallowed, powder and crystals tends to be snorted and seeds tend to be smoked.
  • There have also been reports of people injecting them.
All of the above can cause illness or death… Just because you’re getting them from your mates or your dealer does NOT make them safe.

Is the ban on 'legal highs' working? (BBC Three)

Legal highs, known officially as new psychoactive substances(NPS) have been around for the last decade. From Spice to Black Mamba, you could pick them up from your local corner shop along with a Kit-Kat and a bottle of water. You’d even get a receipt.


Key Facts & Figures

244 Deaths in 2016.
NPS Facts
  • Also known as ‘Legal’s’ ‘NPS’ ‘Research Chemicals’ & ‘Lethal Highs’

  • The Lisbon-based European monitoring centre for drugs and drug addiction says nearly 10% of 15 to 24 year-olds in Britain have used legal highs, twice the European average of 5%.

  • Sellers refer to them as research chemicals, plant food, bath crystals or pond cleaner.

  • Former Legal Highs are not for human consumption.

  • 244 Deaths in 2016.

  • There is little research into the effects of Former Legal Highs due to funding cuts.

  • The side effects of Former Legal Highs are awful and sometimes inflict serious damage on vital organs.

  • Former Legal Highs have caused many deaths and horrific side effects.

  • The long and short term effects of Former Legal Highs are unknown.

  • The addiction risks of Former Legal Highs can be rapid.

  • The interaction of Former Legal Highs and other substances can be deadly.

  • No one knows what they’re taking when they use Former Legal Highs.