Revealed: The cocktail of chemicals in legal highs sold on Britain's high streetsIn some cases, NPS are just legal high ingredients dangerous tr enterprises controlled drugs. NPS are normally sold as powders, pills or capsules. The powders can range from white to brown to yellow in colour and from flour-like to little crystals in consistency. While the pills and capsules can range legal high ingredients size, shape and colour. The smoking mixtures tend to come in colourful packaging, often with labels describing the contents as incense or herbal ihgredients mixture, and the contents look like dried herbs or plant cuttings.
Legal Highs - Know the Score
In some cases, NPS are just as dangerous as controlled drugs. NPS are normally sold as powders, pills or capsules. The powders can range from white to brown to yellow in colour and from flour-like to little crystals in consistency.
While the pills and capsules can range in size, shape and colour. The smoking mixtures tend to come in colourful packaging, often with labels describing the contents as incense or herbal smoking mixture, and the contents look like dried herbs or plant cuttings. Although they look herbal, they are actually plant material sprayed with potent chemicals.
NPS tend to be snorted or swallowed, but there have been reports of some people injecting NPS, which is the most dangerous way of using. There is the possibility of accidental overdosing as the strength of some substances is unknown. Whilst drugs in each of the categories will have similarities in the kinds of effects they produce, they will have widely different strengths. Even when we can, the chemical may not have been used for human consumption before and its short or long term effects are likely to be unknown.
There has been limited research into the short, medium and long term risks of the various NPS. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that they are far from harmless and can have similar health risks to drugs like cocaine, ecstasy and speed. Risks of NPS include reduced inhibitions, drowsiness, excited or paranoid states, psychosis, hallucinations, dizziness, sickness, overheating, coma and seizures. Many NPS have been directly linked to emergency hospital admissions and, in some cases, deaths.
NPS can have very different effects on users and risks and side effects are increased if used with alcohol or other drugs. One type of substance can also be much stronger than another and this has often led to accidental overdosing. They can put a strain on your heart and nervous system. They can effect your immune system so you might get more colds, flu, sore throats or infections. You may feel quite low for a while after stopping using them. Some psychedelic drugs create strong dissociative effects, which make you feel like your mind and body are separated.
Both of which can interfere with your judgement, which could put you at risk of acting carelessly, dangerously, or hurting yourself or others, particularly in an unsafe environment.
Injecting any drug, including NPS — and sharing the equipment used for injecting, such as needles or syringes — runs the risk of the person injecting catching or spreading a virus, such as HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C. There is also the risk that veins may be damaged and that an abscess or blood clot may develop, which can cause further health problems, like infections and heart problems.
This legislation makes it an offence to produce, supply, offer to supply, possess with intent to supply, import or export including over the internet any psychoactive substances.
Products such as nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, food and medicinal products are exempt from the Act. The maximum custodial sentence available in a solemn prosecution under the Psychoactive Substances Act is 7 years.
The legislation gives powers to law enforcement to take action against all suppliers of NPS. There are provisions for civil sanctions, prohibition notices, and prohibition orders to enable the police and local authorities to adopt a proportionate response.
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