Psychoactive substances, formerly known as legal highs, are substances which produce the same or similar effects as many illegal drugs such as cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine. With many psychoactive substances it is extremely difficult to know their potency and therefore how they will affect the user.
They are divided into four main groups:
Cause reduced concentration and slowing of reactions, leading user to feel physically unsteady and lethargic.
These substances cause psychedelic reactions which can lead the user to act erratically, putting their own safety at risk.
Substance temporarily causes increase in alertness and energy, while also putting a strain on the nervous system.
Synthetic Cannabinoids –
Large doses can lead to life-threatening intoxication. Also effects the central nervous system causing seizures, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate and increased body temperature.
Last month two men were arrested and jailed for four and a half years for selling psychoactive substances. The offences were committed in Scotland and eight of the men’s customers needed hospital treatment after taking the substances.
Free samples and loyalty cards were used by the men selling the psychoactive substances and two users were left in comas after taking a substance known as Psyclone. Court was told that the shops took in as much as £2,500 in sales every day.
The sister of a man who died from taking psychoactive substances said it changed her brother “mentally and physically.” BBC Scotland was told that he started dabbling with psychoactive substances because he believed they were legal. “Some of them were a substitute of heroin, others to mimic the effects of cannabis. He became very withdrawn with the family and just wanted to stay away.”
Randox Testing Services
At Randox Testing Services we reacted to the issues caused by psychoactive substances by releasing the world’s first Synthetic Cannabinoids (JWH/AM) and ‘Bath Salt’s’ (MPDV) tests in 2012. This enables companies to test for popular types of psychoactive substances and showed that it was possible to detect these substances.
However as new psychoactive substances emerged new tests also had to be created and next generation Synthetic Cannabinoids tests (UR144 and JWH250) were released in 2013. These tests represented a milestone in the fight against the highly dangerous psychoactive substances and provided a way for laboratories and companies to stay on top of the developing drug trends.
Today, in the endless pursuit of creating innovative tests for new and emerging psychoactive substances, our expertise sets us apart from the rest of the industry. We will continue to develop our test menus and grow our range of tests.