The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has advised the government that the chemical naphyrone, marketed as the legal high NRG-1, should be made a Class B drug. It is also calling on the Home Secretary to implement an immediate import ban on naphyrone.
The review into naphyrone is part of an ongoing review of the legal high market and follows advice already made to government in recent months and the subsequent bans on mephedrone, SPICE, GBL and BZP.
Reflecting on the review, ACMD chair Professor Les Iversen said:
"Naphyrone is a drug with the potential to cause real harm due to its potency and associated health effects.
"Users of 'legal highs' should be aware that just because a substance is being advertised as legal does not make it safe, nor may it be legal.
"Test purchasing has demonstrated that what you think you are buying is often not what is in the packet. The harms and effects of your purchase may be different and/or greater than you expect."
Naphyrone has a close resemblance to other cathinones. The review shows that due to its potency this drug has considerable potential for abuse and also accidental overdose.
The predicted harms of this chemical include adverse effects on the heart and blood vessels, hyperthermia, dependence and psychiatric effects.
Evidence on test purchasing undertaken by Liverpool John Moores University and Tic Tac Communications shows that many products being sold as NRG-1 are often mislabelled and often contain other illegal chemicals.