This website uses cookies to allow us to see how the site is used. The cookies cannot identify you.
If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with this.
Click Here if you want to use the site without cookies else click OK.

Wales Drug and Alcohol Helpline

Freephone: 0808 808 2234
Or text DAN to: 81066
Home Services Drugs A-Z Literature About Us Contact Us

The Misuse of Drugs Act

The legislation covering drugs and categorises drugs as class A, B and C. These drugs are termed as controlled substances, and Class A drugs are those considered to be the most harmful. Offences include:

  • Possession of a controlled substance unlawfully
  • Possession of a controlled substance with intent to supply it
  • Supplying or offering to supply a controlled drug (even where no charge is made for the drug)
  • Allowing premises you occupy or manage to be used unlawfully for the purpose of producing or supplying controlled drugs

A to Z Index of Drugs:

0-9
A B C D E F G H
I J K L M N O P
Q R S T U V W Z

 

Search Drug Terms:

  
You can enter any word or drug name above to seach the database (e.g. cannabis or trip)

 
Finding out about drugs

Psychoactive Substances Act will come into force on 26 May 2016

A blanket ban on so-called 'legal highs' and tough new enforcement powers will come into effect on 26 May 2016.

The Psychoactive Substances Act will protect young people by banning any production, supply and importation or exportation for human consumption of these potentially dangerous drugs, linked to the deaths of 144 people in the UK in 2014 alone.

The act provides a range of criminal and civil sanctions including new powers for police and tough sentences of up to 7 years for offenders.

The UK will be the first country in the world to put in place a rigorous system of testing to demonstrate that a substance is capable of having a psychoactive effect, providing evidence to support civil action and prosecutions.

Minister for Preventing Abuse, Exploitation and Crime Karen Bradley said:

"Psychoactive substances shatter lives and we owe it to all those who have lost loved ones to do everything we can to eradicate this abhorrent trade. "This act will bring to an end the open sale on our high streets of these potentially harmful drugs and deliver new powers for law enforcement to tackle this issue at every level in communities, at our borders, on UK websites and in our prisons." "The message is clear – so-called 'legal highs' are not safe. This act will ban their sale and ensure unscrupulous traders who profit from them face up to 7 years in prison.

Sanctions under the act include:

  • up to 7 years in prison for the supply, production, possession with intent to supply, importation or exportation of a psychoactive substance for human consumption
  • up to 2 years in prison for possessing a psychoactive substance in a custodial institution
  • prohibition and premises orders, which will allow police to shut down head shops and online dealers in the UK, with up to 2 years in prison for those who fail to comply
  • police powers to seize and destroy psychoactive substances, search people, premises and vehicles, and to search premises by warrant if necessary
  • The government has already taken action against so-called 'legal highs', having banned more than 500 potentially dangerous drugs since 2010 under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

The new act will go even further but legislation alone is not enough. The government continues to take action across prevention, treatment and recovery to reduce harmful drug use and is working with experts - including the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs - to develop a new drugs strategy.

Change to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 - March 2015

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Amendment) Order 2015 classifies:

    • 1-cyclohexyl-4-(1,2-diphenylethyl)piperazine (MT-45)
    • 4-methyl-5-(4-methylphenyl)-4,5-dihydrooxazol-2-amine (4,4'-DMAR)

as Class A drugs under Part 1 of Schedule 2 under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, which come into force at 00:01 on 11 March 2015.

MT-45 is a synthetic opioid. The ACMD advises that MT-45 presents health risks including respiratory depression, addiction and related social harms which are similar to the risks of controlled opioids. The ACMD further reports adverse effects and incidents including coma and death which have been linked to MT-45 as a cause or contributory factor in other countries.

4,4'-DMAR is a new psychoactive substance with stimulant properties. The ACMD advises that 4,4'-DMAR toxicity has been linked as a cause or contributory factor to serious health harms including agitation, convulsions and hyperthermia prior to deaths reported in the UK and other EU member states. In some cases, symptoms included loss of hearing.

MT-45 and 4,4'-DMAR are being permanently controlled as Class A drugs under the 1971 Act and inserted into Schedule 1 to the 2001 Regulations, as well as being designated drugs to which section 7(4) of the 1971 Act applies, because they have no recognised medicinal or legitimate uses beyond potential research use which will continue to be enabled under a Home Office licence.

Change to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 - January 2015

A Change to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971: control of AH-7921, LSD–related compounds, tryptamines, and rescheduling of GHB. This came into force on on 7th January 2015:

  1. Classifies:
    • the synthetic opioid AH-7921 as a Class A drug
    • the LSD-related compounds commonly known as ALD-52, AL-LAD, ETH-LAD, PRO-LAD and LSZ as Class A drugs
    • the compounds captured by the extended definition of tryptamines, which now include compounds commonly known as AMT and 5-MeO-DALT, as Class A drugs

The synthetic opioid AH-7921, the LSD-related compounds and the compounds captured by the extended definition of tryptamines as controlled drugs to which section 7(4) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 applies, because they have no recognised medicinal or legitimate uses outside of research. This means that it is unlawful to possess, supply, produce, import or export these drugs except under a Home Office licence for research or “other special purpose”.

The 2014 Regulations also reschedules 4-Hydroxy-n-butyric acid (GHB) from Schedule 4 to Schedule 2 to the 2001 Regulations. GHB is not being reclassified.

Change to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 - July 2014

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Amendment) Order 2014 classifies Khat as a controlled drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. This came in to force on 24th June 2014:

  1. Classifies:
    • Khat as a Class C drug

Khat is defined as the leaves, stems and shoots of the plant Catha edulis. This means it is unlawful to possess, supply, produce, import or export except under the required Home Office licence for research or other special purposes.

Change to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 - June 2014

A Change to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 came in to force on 10th June 2014. This specifically relates to control of NBOMe and benzofuran compounds, lisdexamphetamine, zopiclone, zaleplon, tramadol and ketamine.

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Ketamine etc.) (Amendment) Order 2014:

  1. Classifies:
    • A group of NBOMe compounds (by generic definition) as Class A drugs, Schedule 1
    • A group of Benzofuran Compounds (by generic definition) as Class B drugs, Schedule 1
    • Lisdexamphetamine as a Class B drug, Schedule 2
    • Zopiclone and zaleplon as Class C drugs, Part 1 of Schedule 4
    • Tramadol as a Class C drug under Schedule 2
  2. Reclassifies:
    • Ketamine as a Class B drug under Schedule 2

This means it is unlawful to possess, supply, produce, import or export these drugs except under a Home Office licence for research or other special purpose.

These changes to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, now controlling the NBOMe compounds and the benzofuran compounds using a generic definition, means that a range of chemicals, including their simple derivatives, can be controlled. Therefore any current, future or foreseeable substances that are created from these chemical compounds will also be controlled under the Act.

Class A Drugs

Penalty for possession: Up to seven years in prison and / or an unlimited fine.

Penalty for dealing: Up to life in prison and / or an unlimited fine.

2CE
Amphetamines
Cocaine
Crystal Meth
Diconal
DihydroCodeine
DMT
Ecstasy
Heroin
LSD
Magic Mushrooms
Methadone
Morphine
NBOMe Compounds
Opium
Palfium
PCP
Pethedine
PMA
Temazepam

Class B Drugs

Penalty for possession: Up to five years in prison and / or an unlimited fine.

Penalty for dealing: Up to 14 years in prison and / or an unlimited fine.

2-DPMP
Amphetamines
Benzofuran Compounds
Cannabis
Codeine
Dihydrocodeine
Ketamine
Lisdexamfetamine
Mephedrone
Methoxetamine
NRG1

Class C Drugs

Penalty for possession: Up to two years in prison and / or an unlimited fine.

Penalty for dealing: Up to 14 years in prison and / or an unlimited fine..

Benzodiazepines
BZP
Cathinone
GHB
Khat
MSJ
Phenazepam
Steroids
Temazepam
Temgesic
Tramadol
Zopiclone

 
Go to Drugs A-Z homepage
www.onsis.co.uk