What are NPS?

Legal highs, is a term coined by the media and used to describe new psychoactive substances (NPS) which are also known as New Emerging Drugs (NEDs) .

NPS are substances taken recreationally and are not yet banned substances (controlled drug). The term NPS covers a variety of herbal and plant products, synthetic chemical compounds and even gases such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas). They are taken to get high and many produce the same or similar effects, to illegal drugs, but are not currently controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1971. They are however, considered illegal under current medicines legislation (The Medical Act, 1968) to sell, supply or advertise for ‘human consumption’. To get round this sellers refer to them as research chemicals, plant food, bath crystals or pond cleaner. New psychoactive substances (NPS) are sold under a variety of names, often with no ingredients listed on the packaging, so it is very hard for someone to know what they are taking.