New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)

18 Sep 2017

newpsychoactivesubstances

New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) were listed as Class A controlled drugs in the First Schedule of the Misuse of Drugs Act on 1 May 2014.

New psychoactive substances (NPS) contain ingredients which mimics the same effects as controlled drugs such as cocaine, "ecstasy", methamphetamine, heroin or cannabis.

Examples of NPS found in Singapore are ‘smoking blends’ (i.e. botanical materials or herbs) and may be referred to as synthetic weed, K2 or Spice. Some NPS were sold as tablets that are passed off as 'Ecstasy' or as 'bath salts'.

The 'smoking blends' are usually rolled up with cigarette paper and smoked to experience the effects. Besides these self-made cigarettes, abusers may use a hookah or a pipe to smoke the botanical materials. 'Bath salts' are typically taken orally, inhaled, or injected.

Dangers of NPS

  • NPS have unknown, dangerous toxicology effects
  • Abusers may experience paranoia, seizures and hallucinations
  • Could be as addictive and harmful as controlled drugs.

Penalties for abusing NPS

  • Drug abusers could be committed to a drug rehabilitation centre (DRC) for treatment and rehabilitation for a period ranging from 6 months to 36 months. Those convicted in court for abusing drugs will face a maximum of 10 years imprisonment, or a $20,000 fine, or both

CNB reminds the public of the dangers of using NPS, which could cause serious side effects similar to Class A drugs such as cannabis, cocaine and Ecstasy. Abuse of such drugs, or in fact any drug, would lead to addiction and health problems that are potentially fatal.