A new survey of the street drug market in the UK by DrugWise the online drug information service, has concluded that the primary aims of the PSA which came into force in May 2016 have been achieved. Firstly to close down retail outlets for so-called ‘legal highs’ and second to stop the legal cat and mouse game whereby a drug would be banned only for the chemists to render the drug legal once more by slightly changing the formula. However, of the new drugs, synthetic cannabinoids collectively known as spice in particular, have become street drugs alongside heroin and crack causing continuing problems for vulnerable groups including the rough sleeping and homeless communities and those in prison.
Other key findings include:
- Unprecedented purity levels for heroin, cocaine, crack and ecstasy
- Confirmation of the changing nature of drug distribution networks
- Significant non-medical use of prescription and over-the counter drugs
This report, written by Harry Shapiro is a 2016 DrugWise publication based on work first published by DrugScope in 2014 and 2015. It covers the history of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS); the effects and characteristics of the drugs themselves; the prevalence of their use; treatment and education interventions; and the legislative responses; including, of course, the Psychoactive Substances Act that came into play at midnight. There are also links to many further sources of information.
A report written for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prescribed Drug Dependence by Harry Shapiro.
For our large archive of DrugScope reports dating back to 2005 please see the DrugScope report archive