On 23 December 2009 three substances that have to date been termed ‘legal highs’, together with a further group of anabolic steroids and two growth promoters became controlled substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
GBL (Gamma-butyrolactone) is an oily and colourless liquid closely related to GHB. It is a legitimate industrial product found in products like paint stripper and rust remover, however it has been used on the clubbing scene in particular as ‘Liquid E’. GBL is now controlled as a Class C drug when supplied or in possession for human ingestion.
BZP (Benzylpiperazine) and other related piperazines have been commonly marketed as ‘legal E’ or ‘party pills’ and sold both on the internet and in head shops. These compounds are now controlled as a Class C drug, together with like piperazine compounds.
Synthetic cannabinoids often found in ‘Spice’ like products are man made chemicals designed to mimic THC in cannabis. These ‘herbal’ products are sprayed with the chemical and often sold as ‘incense’ at music festivals, head shops and on the internet. Synthetic cannabinoids are now controlled as Class B drugs.
The FRANK website has been updated to include these substances and their new legal status, and the leaflets are currently being revised. There is also a new FRANK branded poster that is available to order by calling 0870 241 4680 or online at www.drugs.homeoffice.gov.uk/communications-and-campaigns/materials-library/frank/leafletsandposters/crazy-chemist-poster.html.
Please direct any queries or questions to FRANK@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.