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Home > Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament of the Council on new psychoactive substances.

European Commission. (2013) Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament of the Council on new psychoactive substances. Brussels: European Commission.

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A growing number of new psychoactive substances, which imitate the effects of substances controlled under the UN Conventions on Drugs and are marketed as legal alternatives to them (‘legal highs’), are emerging and spreading fast in the internal market. These substances, which act on the central nervous system, modifying mental functions, also have uses in industry or research - as active substances for medicines, for instance. A rising number of individuals, in particular young people, consume new psychoactive substances, despite the risks that they may pose, which may be comparable to those posed by UN-controlled drugs. During the past years, one new psychoactive substance was reported every week in the EU, and the rapid pace of notification is expected to continue in the coming years. These substances are sold freely, unless public authorities subject them to various restriction measures, underpinned by administrative or criminal sanctions, because of the risks that they pose when consumed by humans. Such national restriction measures, which may differ depending on the Member State and on the substance, can hamper trade in the internal market and hinder the development of future industrial or commercial uses.
New psychoactive substances are not subjected to control measures under the UN Conventions on Drugs, unlike psychoactive substances such as cocaine or amphetamines, although they could be considered for UN-level control on the basis of a risk assessment conducted by the World Health Organisation at the request of at least one UN Member State.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, International, Report
Drug Type
New psychoactive substance
Intervention Type
43 p.
European Commission
Corporate Creators
European Commission
Place of Publication
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)
Related (external) link

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