Legal Highs / New Psychoactive Substances

Legal Highs


With 'Legal Highs' (New Psychoactive Substances, or NPS) just because they may be legal doesn't mean they're necessarily safe. NPS or 'legal highs' can be just as strong as illegal drugs, and are sometimes more so.

Equally, controlled substances have been found in some products claiming to be legal. Being caught in possession of such products could mean you can be prosecuted as you would be for illegal drugs, even if you believe they are legal. Most festivals and clubs operate a zero tolerance policy for any drugs including NPS so you may be refused entry and will have them taken from you.

Also, the law is rapidly changing around NPS so it's important to be aware of these changes. Many previously legal substances have now been made illegal, or placed under Temporary Class Drug Orders. TCDO's last for 12 months during which time they are a controlled substance, undergoing more focused research on effects and potential harms. While under a TCDO, supply and distribution of the substance is illegal - this could include simply passing onto a friend - but possession is not usually illegal. More law changes are set for 2016: please check for the most up-to-date info on individual substances.

Remember that we all react to substances in different ways and as many of these substances are relatively new, effects can be unpredictable. Here are some basic tips if you are determined to use:


  • Always take a test dose e.g a dab or half a pill and wait at least 2 hours before taking more
  • Don't get carried away: Avoid mixing with other drugs including alcohol
  • Tell someone you are with what you have taken
  • Use in a safe environment with trusted company
  • If going to sleep, sleep on your side
  • Look after your mates
  • Seek help if you need to and be honest about what you have taken to emergency services