It has been announced by the Home Office that the sale of Poppers will not be affected by the blanket ban on new psychoactive substances. The ban is due to come into effect on 6th April this year and is designed to ban the production, distribution, supply and sale of ‘any substance intended for human consumption that is capable of producing a psychoactive effect’.
The Home Office U-turn has come about after the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) advised that poppers should not be banned. The ACMD had told the home secretary, Theresa May, that poppers were not only not psychoactive but were also not seen to be capable of having harmful effects sufficient to constitute a social problem. They also added that concerns about impaired sight and the risk of lower blood pressure related to use of poppers are rare, but should be carefully monitored.
What are Poppers?
Poppers are small bottles filled with liquid chemicals (Alkyl Nitrates) which are inhaled for recreational purposes, often sold in sex shops, clubs and gay bars. They are known to give a sudden head rush, lasting only a few minutes and are often used as a means to enhance sexual pleasure.
What are the side effects?
Negative side effects include lowering of blood pressure, nausea, headaches, burning skin on contact and can be fatal if swallowed. In extreme cases they have been reported to cause temporary and even permanent loss of vision. This is known as poppers maculopathy.