Psychoactive substances

'Psychoactive Substance' health risks include seizures, paranoia and breathing difficulties.

Psychoactive Substances – what are they?

A psychoactive substance, formerly a legal or chemical high, is one which mimics the effect of illegal drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis.

These are now dealt with under the Psychoactive Substance Act 2016, and can take the form of powders, pills and herbal smoking material.

‘Psychoactive Substances’ fall into four main categories:

  • Synthetic cannabinoids
  • Stimulant type drugs 
  • Hallucinogenic
  • Opiates 

There are many being sold with different brand names including: Spice, Gogaine, Green Beans, Pink Panthers, Sparklee, Black Mamba, Herbal Haze, Benzo Fury, and Annihilation. There are also many that are waiting to reach the open market.

Are they safe?

‘Psychoactive Substances’ 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 health risks include paranoia, breathing difficulties, hallucinations, seizures and even death.

Are they illegal?

From the 26th May 2016, it is now an offence to Possess with Intent to Supply, Supply or Offer to Supply, Produce, Import or Export a Psychoactive Substance, it is not an offence to possess but there are powers to stop, search, seize and destroy, it is an offence to possess in a custodial institution.

The above also applies to Nitrous Oxide when being used for recreational purposes.

Whilst the Act defines what a psychoactive substance is, Schedule 1 of the Act also exempts certain substances.

  • Controlled drugs (as the Misuse of Drugs Act and its penalties apply)
  • Medicinal products
  • Alcohol
  • Nicotine & tobacco products
  • Caffeine / caffeine products
  • Food

Alkyl Nitrates (Poppers) are not including within the Act
If you are willing to share information on those dealing or supplying drugs, it will be treated in the strictest confidence, please email: [email protected]

More information can be found on the Frank website.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of psychoactive substances please contact the Controlled Drug Liaison Officer at Suffolk Police:
[email protected]

01473 613888 Ext 2869

07979 178664