What are Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS)  AKA Legal Highs?

These are substances that are being sold as research chemicals, herbal incence, or plant food, which if snorted swallowed or smoked mimic the effects of illegal drugs especially cannabis, MDMA (ecstasy) and cocaine.

NPS that mimic cannabis are also called synthetic cannabinoids.

Are they legal?

Not any more! At the end of May these substances were made illegal to import, sell or possess with intent to supply.


The packets say not for human consumption so why do people take them?

The information on the packets helps the people selling them to get around the laws that are there to protect you, some people take them because it gives them  a specific effect like cannabis or MDMA but the real question is what are the risks?

So are they safe?

The simple answer is we dont know! There are plenty of reports of people suffering serious side effects from these substances including people ending up in hospital. So is it worth taking a risk with something that is so unknown? Just because they are legal doesn't mean they are safe and every week we are finding out more about the dangers of NPS.

What are the risks?

If they are stimulants drugs pretending to be like cocaine, MDMA or amphetamine then the risks can be simliar to the illegal drugs, this may include problems with your heart, sleeping difficulties, lack of appetite, paranoia and if snorted damage to your nose.

If they are synthetic cannabinoids - legal highs with the similar effects to cannabis then it can effect your breathing, motivation, you may get paranoid and it is difficult to give up.

What is synthetic cannabinoid withdrawal?

There is more and more evidence that when people try to stop using these legal highs they go through unpleasant withdrawal reports are showing people experiencing severe flu symptoms, anxiety, agitation and mood swings. If you recognise any of these and would like some support to stop using why not contact us on 01204 337330.

You can find out more about other people's experiences of NPS at this website.