Legal Highs/NPS The New Act 2016 (Update)

(ill) Legal Highs/NPS (New Psychoactive Substances) made an unpleasant and unexpected arrival around 2008 in this country! Many had existed for years and many as labelled, are ‘Research Chemicals’, which to be honest where never designed for human use. Due to various loop-holes in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Medicine Act 1968 and various other acts these substances have been allowed to be sold on the open market, with very little or no regulation and importantly no harm reduction around their use.

Psychoactive Substances Act (2016)

The Psychoactive Substances Act will fundamentally change the way we tackle harm caused by psychoactive substances. The Act creates criminal offences to cover the production and distribution of PS for human consumption. It will give police and local authorities greater powers to tackle this trade.

A substance causes a psychoactive effect in a person if, by stimulating or depressing the person’s central nervous system, it affects the person’s mental functioning or emotional state. The new act is focused on supply and does not contain a possession offence in the community, only possession with intent to supply and possession in a custodial institution.

The Act does, however, provide provision for police or customs officers to seize and dispose of psychoactive substances,  including where the quantity seized during a search of the person or vehicle is consistent with personal use.

Please note: low level supply such as between friends could be dealt with by simple forfeiture or civil sanctions.



  • Facts

    For parents, particularly with the (ill) Legal Highs/NPS, this has burst on the scene, for the first time drugs are in local shops and on-line with the postman delivering to your son or daughter. Things are in the process of change regarding the shops, and a new law will come into being this year 2016 in May. The shops and UK Based Websites will be closed. Possession will not be prosecuted, but this is for all the ‘new drugs’ that might arrive. All previous banned drugs will stay within the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and are illegal to possess, please look at Drugs Classifications as the penalties in this ACT can vary depending if it’s a Class A, B or C Drug.

    You should make yourself aware of these substances, so you can go on-line and go to or go to the ‘Drugs Wheel’, which explains the 7 different types of drugs categories from Stimulants to Empathogens. Please see our Drugs Wheel Video.

    There are local services you can talk to, addresses are in the help section or you can contact us in the questions section. Remember, there is help and support and it is local.

  • Advice

    Young people, and males especially tend to be ‘risk takers’ they tend to form ‘peer clusters’, in which they associate with ‘like minded’ young people. So you mix with young people who like the same music, clothes and possibly drugs. From the outset the main thing to get straight is Most Young people Do Not Take Drugs.

  • Help & Support

    Many agencies provide help and support around ‘Legal Highs/NPS, these include locally CAIR Scotland, and the Drugs and Alcohol Team at Highland House. Nationally we have Crew 2000 which can be found at and Know the Score at or you could checkout the ‘Drugs Meter’

    It is important to note that there are various types of users taking these chemicals, so how you use and what you use may affect the service which suits your needs. So contact us, in the contact page and we can direct you to the service that suits your needs.