Issues with monitoring the safety of psychoactive products under a legal regulated market for new psychoactive substances (‘legal highs’) in New Zealand

  title={Issues with monitoring the safety of psychoactive products under a legal regulated market for new psychoactive substances (‘legal highs’) in New Zealand},
  author={Marta Rychert and Chris Wilkins and Karen Witten},
  journal={Drug and Alcohol Review},
INTRODUCTION New Zealand's Psychoactive Substances Act (2013) established the world's first regulated market for 'low risk' psychoactive products ('legal highs'). Under an interim PSA regime, 47 existing products were permitted to be continued to be sold. AIM To explore issues with the implementation of regulatory systems to monitor the safety of products on the legal market under the interim Psychoactive Substances Act regime. METHODS Semi-structured interviews with 30 key stakeholders… 

Are government‐approved products containing new psychoactive substances perceived to be safer and more socially acceptable than alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs? Findings from a survey of police arrestees in New Zealand

The PSA was partially successful at separating approved NPS from other drugs, but high health-risk and low social acceptability scores for approved SC may reflect the absence of product testing during the interim PSA market.

Understanding the development of a regulated market approach to new psychoactive substances (NPS) in New Zealand using Punctuated Equilibrium Theory.

Punctuated Equilibrium Theory (PET) helps explain how New Zealand's Psychoactive Substances Act (PSA) policy first emerged on the political agenda and how the initial positive tone of expert support for reform shifted to a tide of popular criticism during the interim regime.

How deaths can help clinicians and policy‐makers understand the risks of novel psychoactive substances

Without reliable, accurate and complete information that is correctly collated, scientifically analysed and disseminated in a timely manner, an understanding of the phenomenon of what deaths can be ascribed to NPS will remain unachieved, and thus limit what can be done to reduce them.

Change in the new psychoactive substances associated with Emergency Department acute toxicity presentations associated with the introduction of the UK 2016 Psychoactive Substances Act

NPS present front-line health services with unique challenges, and the PSA 2016 represents a major legislative effort in UK to limit their availability and supply, with evolving patterns of NPS use.

Synthetic cannabis: adverse events reported to the New Zealand Pharmacovigilance Centre

Investigating adverse reactions associated with SCRA in New Zealand found that young, male and European populations frequently were involved in SCRA adverse events, and Pharmacovigilance is a useful tool to measure and monitor illicit drug use.

Measuring drug harm in New Zealand: a stocktake of current data sources.

This article maps and evaluates harm data within New Zealand, explores data collection methods and timing, and identifies the substances and types of harm assessed to date, to guide effective local harm reduction policies and interventions.

Current cannabis-related situation in the Asia-Pacific region.

Any change in the legal status of cannabis must be undertaken with caution and fully evaluated at each stage to determine the extent to which these changes are leading to increased numbers of users, oversupply, and health risks including cannabis-related harm.



The interim regulated legal market for NPS ('legal high') products in New Zealand: The impact of new retail restrictions and product licensing.

The effectiveness of the new product safety assessment framework will depend on the quality of the data available on adverse cases, and the need for retrospective studies of NPS adverse cases and additional test data is indicated.

A critical first assessment of the new pre-market approval regime for new psychoactive substances (NPS) in New Zealand.

The clinical trials required for NPS products should address the characteristics of recreational NPS use, including binge use, polydrug use, use by vulnerable groups and high-risk modes of administration.

Can new psychoactive substances be regulated effectively? An assessment of the British Psychoactive Substances Bill.

It is appropriate at this time for other governments to assess more fully the nature of the NPS problem, and the potential control approaches.

An exploratory study of the health harms and utilisation of health services of frequent legal high users under the interim regulated legal high market in central Auckland.

Frequent use of interim licensed SC products was associated with health problems, including dependency, and further research is required to determine the health risks of these products.

Drug policy and global regulatory capitalism: the case of new psychoactive substances (NPS).

  • T. Seddon
  • Political Science
    The International journal on drug policy
  • 2014

The new psychoactive substances regime in New Zealand: a different approach to regulation

A group of New Zealand based researchers from a range of disciplines with experience of ‘legal high’ research are brought together to discuss this innovative new regime in the regulation of emerging psychoactive substances.

Implementation of the 2013 Psychoactive Substances Act and mental health harms from synthetic cannabinoids.

The decrease in mental health harms, as measured by frequency of EPS contacts, appeared to be due to reduced retail availability of synthetic cannabinoids rather that reduced toxicity of available products.

The new drug phenomenon.

This special issue provides a multidisciplinary snapshot of recent developments of the broader, arguably phenomenal, changes to the drugmarket that have occurred in the past decade related to the

Synthetic cannabinoid withdrawal: a new demand on detoxification services.

The harm associated with use of synthetic cannabinoids has had a direct impact on the utilisation of specialist alcohol and drug services in Auckland, New Zealand.

Developing public health regulations for marijuana: lessons from alcohol and tobacco.

The goal is not to address whether marijuana legalization is a good or bad idea but, rather, to help policymakers understand the decisions they face and some lessons learned from research on public health approaches to regulating alcohol and tobacco over the past century.