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New psycho-active substances: the legal procedure used in european union countries and Turkey

Faruk Asicioglu.

Abstract
New psycho-active substances have recently begun to be substituted for narcotics as drugs of abuse. The main reason for this situation is that they are not included in the controlled substance list,despite the fact that they cause psychoactive effects, resulting in their purchase and use without fear of penalty.
It has been observed, in recent years, that some psychoactive substances have been traded under the street names of ‘herbal drugs,’ or ‘spices’ implying that they are harmless and leading to misinformation about their true content. There are some expressions such as ‘incense’ or ‘nonhuman consumption’ on their packets and they are sold by ‘smart shops,’ ‘head shops’ and/or web sites.
The EMCDDA (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction) is a European Union (EU) decentralised organisation which has been established to provide science-based information, policy making, coordination, and cooperation among the professionals working in the field of illicit drug use and trafficking. The EWS (Early Warning System) as a subunit of the EMCDDA is an effective means of fast and effective communication among the EU countries. A total of 114 new psychoactive substances have been reported through the system since 1997, and the 24 of them were identified in 2009.
The EMCDDA has National Focal Points (NFPs) set up in the 27 EU Member States, and in candidate countries such as Turkey and Croatia. The National Focal Point of Turkey is the Turkish Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (TUBIM).
If the EMCDDA decides to bring under its control a new psychoactive substance that has social risks identified by scientific evaluation, the decision is declared and must become effective in all member states by a specific deadline. BZP (Benzylpiperazine)and mCPP (meta-chlorophenylpiperazine) were the last two substances to have been placed on the control list by the EMCDDA.
Due to ‘universal principle of legality’ no one shall be held guilty of possession, use or trafficking of a new psychoactive substance that has not yet been listed as a controlled substance under national or international law.
Different procedures are used for adding substances to the controlled lists. There are three kind of classifications used by countries. Generally, countries list the chemical names of controlled substances individually in the national legislation. Legal sanctions are applied only if the substance that has been seized is chemically equivalent to a substance on the list. The generic system refers to the inclusion, usually within the list, of the individual substances under control, and of a precise definition of a group of substances. In the context of the current study, this is over and above the isomers, esters, ethers and salts. The analogue system addresses more general aspects of similarity in the chemical structure of a controlled substance; this aspect mi

Key words: New psychoactive substances, illegal drugs, internationally controlled substances, legal procedure for controlled drugs, herbal mixtures, legal highs



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