- Novel Psychoactive Substances have been around for over 10 years
- 174,000 young people have used Novel Psychoactive Substances in the last year
- The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 received Royal Assent on the 28th January but it’s still not law – enforcement has been delayed indefinitely
- Over 400 different substances have been identified to date
- Substance testing can’t keep up with new substance creation
- More than half of the substances also contain an illicit drug
- The ‘legal high’ label makes them more inviting to the vulnerable and naive
Looking to the future
Many addiction support services would have seen the odd occurrence of NPS use in the past decade, primarily in the form of synthetic cannabinoids. This latest wave of use is much larger in numbers and much more chaotic with differing opinions on how best to provide an element of control.
This problem isn’t going to disappear overnight, even when the Act is finally made law. This is a reality that all addiction services should be planning for. With harm reduction being the main goal there will be increased pressure on addiction services.
It is clear that there is still a lot to learn around the use and long term effects of NPS. The first step to take is collecting more data, patterns of use can then be identified to understand behaviours and educate those at risk.
Take a look at how Halo can help you tackle Substance Misuse.