Legal Responses to New Psychoactive Substances in Europe


This paper starts from the premise that, when a new psychoactive substance appears on the licit/illicit market in a country in Europe, legislators need to choose whether to bring it under control of the drug laws, and for public health reasons they may need to do so quickly. A comparative study of the systems and procedures finds that there are a variety of control methods available in the different countries, including the analogue and generic systems, as well as temporary emergency and rapid permanent scheduling procedures. These may be effective immediately, within several days, or needing up to a year to process. A glance at the risk assessment systems that might be used before or during these procedures illustrates an even spread of the possible options across countries, from no system to a full consultation of independent scientists.

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Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Definitions
  • National systems and procedures: the legal practice
  • The Risk Assessment procedure
  • Findings