herald

Saturday 19 January 2019

New head shop drugs 'are being closely watched'

THE Department of Health is "closely monitoring" the emergence of new forms of psychoactive substances following the outlawing of a range of head shop drugs. Health Minister Mary Harney said a close watch was being kept on the situation after around 200 former 'legal high' drugs were banned in a clampdown on the sector. She said the Government would not hesitate to ban any harmful new drugs.

Health Minister Mary Harney said a close watch was being kept on the situation after around 200 former 'legal high' drugs were banned in a clampdown on the sector. She said the Government would not hesitate to ban any harmful new drugs.

She was responding a request from South Dublin County Council on the issue.

The Minister said the list of now-banned drugs included synthetic cannabis-type substances, BZP-related 'party pills', Mephedrone sold as 'party pills' and 'liquid ecstacy'.

"The legislation introduced in May has had a significant impact on head shops, removing the vast majority of their products from the market and as a result, a large number of head shops have closed," Ms Harney said.

"I am aware that since these substances were brought under control, others have been coming onto the market that are currently not subject to controls under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

"My department is working closely with the Department of Justice, the Gardai, the Customs Service, the Forensic Science Laboratory, the Irish Medicines Board and others to monitor closely the emergence of new psychoactive substances. I will not hesitate to seek Government approval to ban additional substances if any of them pose a risk to public health."

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