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Drugs: New Psychoactive Substances and Prescription Drugs

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2014
16 pages
This report is the British Coalition Government's response to each of the 10 recommendations offered in the Home Affairs Select Committee's report entitled "Drugs: New Psychoactive Substances and Prescription Drugs."
First, the Committee recommends that police forces begin collecting data related to the use and impact of psychoactive substances. The Government agrees that such data collection is important, but it disagrees with the conclusion that law enforcement agencies are failing to understand the impact of new psychoactive substances. Second, the Committee concludes that there is currently an epidemic of psychoactive substances, and it is likely to increase with the creation of new psychoactive substances. In response, the Government notes that addressing new psychoactive substances is a priority of the Government's 2010 Drug Strategy. Third, the committee recommends that any new drug-related legislation be "specific and focused." The Government notes successful prosecutions under current law that involved new psychoactive drugs. Fourth, the Committee recommends a new legislative model for new psychoactive substances that shifts the evidential responsibility of proving the drug's safety onto the seller. The Government agrees to a review of this issue. Fifth, the Committee recommends that the police and trading standards officials jointly test and monitor the sale of substances at public festivals. The Government notes current efforts by police to advise festival organizers in promoting a safe environment. Sixth, the Committee recommends more engagement between the Government and a private foundation committed to profiling problems with psychoactive substances. The Government notes that such cooperation is already occurring. The remaining four Committee recommendations address Government policies that pertain to the abuse of prescription drugs. In response to these recommendations, the Government reviews existing and proposed efforts in this area of concern.