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Inquiry into new psychoactive substances

The National Assembly for Wales’ Health and Social Care Committee undertook an inquiry into new psychoactive substances.

 

The terms of reference for this inquiry were to consider:

 

  • How to raise awareness of the harms associated with the use of new psychoactive substances among the public and those working in the relevant public services.
  • The capacity of local services across Wales to raise awareness of – and deal with the impact of – the harms associated with the use of new psychoactive substances.
  • The effectiveness of data collection and reporting on the use of new psychoactive substances in Wales and their effects.
  • The possible legislative approaches to tackling the issue of new psychoactive substances at both Welsh Government and UK Government level.
  • How effectively a partnership approach to tackling the issue of new psychoactive substances in Wales is being coordinated, both within Wales and between the Welsh and UK Governments.
  • International evidence on approaches taken to new psychoactive substances in other countries.

 

To note: New psychoactive substances (often referred to as “legal highs”) are drugs which have been synthesised to mimic the effects of illegal drugs and which are sought for intoxicant use. Because they are newly created, they are not automatically controlled under drugs legislation (in the UK, the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971). The term may also include substances of herbal origin (“herbal highs”).

 

Evidence from the Public

 

The Committee held a public consultation to gather evidence on this topic.

 

The Committee issued a survey to gather evidence about awareness and use of new psychoactive substances. A summary report (PDF, 349 KB) and summary video were produced.

 

Evidence from the Minister for Health and Social Services

 

The Committee received evidence from the Minister for Health and Social Services (PDF, 263KB).

 

Additional Information

 

Additional information from the Minister for Health and Social Services (PDF, 158KB).

 

Engagement activity

 

Note from the visits held on 2 October 2014 (PDF, 133KB).

 

Note from the focus group events held on 2 October 2014 (PDF, 257KB).

 

Storify

 

The Committee produced a Storify of the inquiry.

 

The Committee’s report

 

The Committee reported (PDF, 1MB) in March 2015. An updated summary report (PDF, 236KB) was published in March 2016 to reflect the latest policy developments at the Welsh, UK and European levels.

 

The UK Government’s Minister for Crime Prevention wrote to the Committee on 27 March 2015 to outline the Home Office’s view on the Committee’s report (PDF, 69KB). The Welsh Government responded (PDF, 295KB) in May 2015.

 

Plenary debate

 

The Plenary debate on the Committee’s report took place on 13 May 2015.

 

Help and support

 

If you or somebody you know has been affected by the use of new psychoactive substances, or if you would like more information about them, you can contact DAN 24/7 for advice. DAN 24/7 is a free and confidential helpline for anyone in Wales wanting further information or help relating to drugs and or alcohol. You can find more information here: http://www.dan247.org.uk/Drug_NewPsychoactiveSubstances.asp

 

Freephone: 0808 808 2234

or text DAN to: 81066

www.dan247.org.uk

Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Assembly Business;

Status: Complete

First published: 03/07/2014

Documents

Consultations

 

 

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