Home > New psychoactive substances in England: a review of the evidence.

Stephenson, Giles and Richardson, Anna (2014) New psychoactive substances in England: a review of the evidence. London: Home Office.

PDF (New psychoactive substances in England - review) - Published Version
PDF (Government response to New Psychoactive Substances)

Aims and approach:
This report builds on chapter 2 of the report of the expert panel review, and provides an overview of the current available evidence on New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)1.

• NPS is a new and developing area of study. Many innovative methodologies are being used and conventions surrounding how best to research NPS are still being established.
• There is good evidence on the identification of new NPS, and evidence on the use of NPS is also well established, albeit with some limitations.
• However, there are gaps in the evidence on:
• the prevalence of use of NPS, and a total measure of NPS use;
• the use of NPS among subgroups other than NTE participants;
• the long-term health harms of NPS use;
• acute health harms of NPS use;
• the extent to which NPS use drives social harms;
• the impact and effectiveness of legislation;
• the motivations for the use of NPS other than mephedrone;
• the exact factors and mechanisms that affect displacement and supplementation; and
• the extent to which individuals within social groups purchase online and then distribute within their social group.

This review has had a significant legislative focus. We also recognise the importance of continuing to focus on our wider, balanced approach to ensure that we invest in all strands of our Drug Strategy. This is why we asked the Panel to also consider our wider approach to prevention, treatment and information sharing.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Report, Review
Drug Type
New psychoactive substance
Intervention Type
General / Comprehensive, Harm reduction
October 2014
56 p.
Home Office
Place of Publication
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)
Related (external) link

Repository Staff Only: item control page