Dublin: Headshop Drugs Banned By Law Available To Buy Online: Report: UPDATED

27 Jun

A report has found that many psychoactive substances, which were banned last year, are available for purchase online.

Illegal substances - 'Vigilance is needed' to monitor new substances

Illegal substances – ‘Vigilance is needed’ to monitor new substances

A new report has found many psychoactive substances, which were banned last year, are available for purchase online.

Researchers found curiosity and availability were the main reasons people consumed products bought in head shops.

The National Advisory Committee on Drugs says vigilance is needed to monitor new substances, which may come onto the market.

Since legislation to counter the sale of psychoactive substances last year, over 90 head shops around the country have closed.

This report examines what was in the products being sold in these stores, what was known about their effects and possible responses to the issues surrounding supply and use of the substances.

Users tended to have a history of illegal drug use. While many reported negative side effects, just 1.5% of respondents sought medical or psychological help as a result.

Researchers at Dublin Institute of Technology have found many banned substances are still readily available for purchase over the internet, with some now being sold as food products.

Many claim to be legal, but when analysed were found to be illegal here.

NEWS UPDATE:

The number of high street stores selling psychoactive highs has fallen from 102 early last year to 11, experts sayEnlarge Photo

The number of high street stores selling psychoactive highs has fallen from 102 early …

Irish and British authorities should work together to fight the sale of illegal headshop drugs online, experts have said.

The number of high street stores selling the psychoactive highs fell from 102 early last year to 11 after a wide-ranging ban but there is a vast internet business supplying users, a review has found.

The National Advisory Committee on Drugs (NACD) said online sales are much bigger out of the UK but warned that it has uncovered a young and vibrant community of users in Ireland experimenting and discussing the effects on internet forums and chat rooms.

The anti-drugs body called for awareness groups to target users directly and dynamically through social media to highlight the dangers and side-effects of banned headshop drugs and new chemical highs.

Dr Des Corrigan, chairman of the NACD, urged the Irish Medicines Board and Customs to get together to crack down on shipments of drugs from overseas.

“While the number of headshops decreased significantly as a result of Government action, a challenge still exists in terms of the monitoring of online outlets for the sale and supply of new psychoactive substances,” he said.

“There are a vast number of online retailers, many of which deliver to Ireland. The report found that while these online products may claim to be ‘legal’, the products which were analysed all contained illegal substances.

“In order to address this issue efforts could be made to examine existing models to curtail such trading, for example, through the co-operation between the Irish Medicines Board and the Customs authorities to monitor the sale of counterfeit medicines.”

The NACD said many recreational users of cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy opted to use headshop drugs in 2010 before a ban out of curiosity and thanks to the availability. It said Ireland and Britain’s close proximity and cultural ties should allow the two countries to collaborate to crack down on online supply.

Roisin Shortall, junior minister in the Department of Health, said state agencies would be brought together to try to tackle access to the drugs.

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