Mindful Monkey.

Psychoactive Substances Act Postponed Indefinitely

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This new legislation (which was due to come into force on April 6th) has been postponed indefinitely.

Home Office have now announced that

“the commencement date for the legislation would no longer be 6th April 2016.” And

“a new date for commencement has yet to be confirmed.”

This seems like a bit of a mystery. Perhaps the volume of criticism led to a rethink? It has been argued that the law will be difficult to enforce.

Source: Psychoactive Substances Act Postponed Indefinitely

“You’re not hallucinating, MPs really did pass crazy bad drug law” says New Scientist

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You’re not hallucinating, MPs really did pass crazy bad drug law

These are not my words but the headline of an article in New Scientist. I’ve been tracking the discussion around the new ‘Psychoactive Substances Bill‘ for a while. The disquiet around this legislation has been mostly expressed in more measured tones, so this, coming from a scientific publication stood out.

Since Mephedrone (MCAT, Meow, Bubble) there was a  ‘leap frogging’ between new drugs (NPS) and the law, and it was evident that each time a set of designer drugs got banned, a new set appeared. And each new set of drugs seemed more hazardous than the last. Things seemed to be getting progressively worse.

So the government decided that a ‘ban everything’ approach would solve the problem. There are two potential issues with this approach. Firstly if you say everything psychoactive is illegal, you immediately need to start creating exceptions. So it starts with Alcohol, Caffeine and Tobacco, but then where will it end? Secondly how do you police this? There is no evidence that making a drugs illegal makes them go away; but there is evidence that criminalising substances creates unintended consequences, most notably more crime.

This reminds me of the saying (often mistakenly attributed to Einstein, but of unknown origin) that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Consider this: We know the safety profile of Cannabis, it has been around for a long time and there are no known cases of overdose or physical harm. There is a worldwide trend towards decriminalising it and it is being researched for a range of medical uses. While at the same time the latest synthetic cannabinoids (helpfully produced for us in China) are creating merry hell in prisons, amongst homeless people and other vulnerable populations. Are you beginning to see a possible solution?

Source: You’re not hallucinating, MPs really did pass crazy bad drug law | New Scientist

Novel (or New) Psychoactive Substances (NPS)

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Novel (or New) Psychoactive Substances (NPS) are an ever increasing group of synthetic, semi-synthetic, or natural compounds often advertised and sold as ‘legal’ alternatives to illicit drugs.

In the past few years a huge variety of such substances have become available. They are often sold on the internet or in ‘head shops’ where information about their effects is minimal and often inaccurate.

The advent of NPS has changed the face of the drug scene(s) remarkably fast. The range of substances now available, their lack of consistency and the potential harms users are exposed to are now complex and multifaceted.

This one day course will provide participants with contemporary information about these substances, and the knowledge and confidence to provide meaningful information, advice and support for those who might need it.

Course Content:

  • Definitions – Some Chemistry and Pharmacology
  • Drugs in Use and their Effects
  • Potential Physical and Psychological harms
  • Options for responding to clients who are using these drugs
  • The current Legal position

To book Click Here

Here’s a designer drug to avoid!!

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PMMA an Amphetamine analogue (para-Methoxymethamphetamine) that has been found to cause a number of deaths round the world including Norway, Iceland and Canada where it was found to be the active ingredient Ecstasy tablets.

It started out as a ‘legal high’ and is now showing up in ‘Ecstasy’ pills and causing health problems.


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