New law to tackle legal highs

The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 is intended to protect young people by banning any production, supply and importation or exportation for human consumption of potentially dangerous drugs.

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 is 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.

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.

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Read the Act

Advisory Council on Misuse of Drugs

Note: The ReACT ASB Case Management System will record and manage complaints of drugs misuse, the actions taken against offenders and the support offered to victims.

For more information about how ReACT can help please contact Nicola Tomlinson on 0121 384 2513 (selecting option 4) or email to