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Drugnet Europe News from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction — April–June 2007

BZP to be placed under control across the EU

Europe responded on 3 March to concerns over the use of the stimulant drug BZP by subjecting it to 'control measures' across the EU Member States. The decision of the Council of the EU (1) was adopted in the final stage of the three-step procedure designed to respond to potentially threatening new psychoactive drugs in the EU (2).

The Council Decision was based on the findings of the formal risk-assessment report on BZP, produced in 2007 by the EMCDDA’s Scientific Committee, with participation of additional experts from the European Commission, Europol and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA). The report, submitted to the European Commission and the Council of the EU in May 2007, examined the health and social risks of the drug as well as information on international trafficking and the involvement of organised crime.

The Council Decision states that: 'due to its stimulant properties, risk to health, the lack of medical benefits and following the precautionary principle, there is a need to control BZP', through measures 'appropriate to the relatively low risks of the substance'.

EU Member States are now called on to take, within one year of the decision, the necessary measures to submit BZP to: 'control measures' and 'criminal penalities' in line with their national laws. Eight EU Member States (Belgium, Denmark,Estonia, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Malta and Sweden) already control BZP under drug control or equivalent legislation and two (Spain and the Netherlands) regulate it under their medicine-related legislation. An EMCDDA risk-assessment publication on BZP is currently in preparation and will be printed before summer.

Roumen Sedefov

(1) See this news release

(2) Council Decision 2005/387/JHA of 10 May 2005 on the information exchange, risk assessment and control of new psychoactive substances (Official Journal L 127, 20.5.2005). See two-page leaflet explaining the three-step procedure

Drugnet Europe is the EMCDDA's newsletter launched in September 1996. The newsletter provides regular and succint information on the Centre's projects and activities to a broad readership.

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