New Psychoactive Substances

legal highs

Legal highs, research chemicals, bath salts, NPS (novel or new psychoactive substances), club drugs, designer drugs… whatever you call them they are different from traditional illegal drugs. They have been created to mimic the effects of drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines but avoid legal classification by having slightly different molecular structures.

In April 2016, the Psychoactive Substances Act became law and was enforced from 26 May 2016.

* It is illegal to sell, produce or offer to supply

* Possession will not be illegal, except in prison or if you are believed to be intending to supply

We have produced a leaflet offering information and harm reduction advice. To understand all the terms and concepts associated with the new law, CGL have produced a Glossary.

For a clear guide to what the Bill will mean, this link to a summary produced by Michael Linnell and DrugWatch is useful.

All other drugs have been studied over many years and information is available on their long and short term effects. This is not true for NPS. There has been NO safety testing. The results of taking NPS can be varied and unpredictable and increase the risks and impact to physical and mental health.

NPS state ‘unfit for human consumption’ on the packets for a reason.  Many of the new groups who are taking NPS do not see themselves as traditional drug users and can be unwilling or unaware of services which can support them.

Need support or information? Catalyst work with people who are using NPS and offer support and information through all its services. Please contact us. We have a dedicated NPS Assertive Outreach Worker covering Guildford and Woking but who can provide support in other areas.

Adam Davey – [email protected]   mob: 07795 347650

Staff are available to deliver training  around Legal Highs to other professionals and organisations.

Useful links:


Angelus Foundation