New Psychoactive Substances

This guide provides an overview of new psychoactive substances (NPS). It highlights how NPS act, the variety of different NPS and the legal controls related to them. 

The ways in which NPS can be obtained are described together with how they are used and their potential harmful effects. 

The ways in which pharmacists, particularly community pharmacists, can support NPS users are explored and a list of useful resources, which provide more detailed information about NPS, some of which can be used to advise, signpost and counsel users of NPS and their families, the general public and other healthcare professionals, are given.

Sections on this page

  • What is a new psychoactive substance?
  • How many NPS are there?
  • How widespread is the use of NPS?
  • How are NPS controlled?
  • How is NPS use detected?
  • How do they act?
  • How dangerous are NPS?
  • How do NPS compare to pharmaceuticals?
  • How are NPS obtained?
  • How are NPS used?
  • What do pharmacists need to know about NPS?
  • Conclusions
  • References
  • Glossary
  • Useful resources
  • Acknowledgements

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