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Decree to prohibit 65 new psychoactive substances

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
10.9.2015 13.30
Press release 144/2015

A government decree will prohibit the production, import, storage, sale and handing over of 65 new psychoactive substances i.e. NPS, which are currently not monitored. Possession and use of these substances will not lead to a penalty. The decree will take effect on 28 September 2015.

Of the prohibited substances, 37 are either synthetic cannabinoids or cathinones, which are the most common groups of all new psychoactive substances. Synthetic cannabinoids include substances with a stronger psychoactive effect than cannabis and the side effects of which can be harmful. E.g. these increase a person's risk of psychosis. Synthetic cathinones are related to the active substances in the khat drug. The best known cathinone is MDPV, which is classified as a narcotic. The third largest group of the now prohibited substances is phenethylamines, which have hallucinogenic and stimulative effects.

All the prohibited NPS are not yet commonly used in Finland, and not all have thus far proved to be very dangerous. However, the substances are spreading quickly throughout the EU, which is why it is important that they are monitored. The Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea, which is responsible for the evaluation of NPS, has proposed that the substances that have now been prohibited be added to the list of psychoactive substances banned from the consumer market.  The substances have also been reported to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction's (EMCDDA) early warning system. Substances added to the system are those that have been observed in Europe and which have resulted in harm.

Finland's Narcotics Act was amended in December 2014. The amended law provides that new psychoactive substances are now monitored pursuant to the law. A definition for new psychoactive substances that can be harmful to one's health and are banned from the consumer market was added to the Narcotics Act. However, no such information has been reported on these substances that would justify their classification as narcotics. Psychoactive substances banned on the consumer market are listed in an updated version of the government decree (1130/2014).

Further information

Ministerial Counsellor Ismo Tuominen, tel. +358 2951 63341, [email protected]

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