The facts about Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS)

“NPS” have been in the news a lot, but it can be hard to understand what they are.

From 26th May NPS will be illegal.

More about the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 can be found on the GOV.UK website

If you work in or with the community, a range of campaign materials are available from Portsmouth City Council. For more information on the Psychoactive Substances Act contact

If you have any information relating to the sale or distribution of Psychoactive Substances call 101

Here are the facts:

Previously sold under brand names like Clockwork Orange, Bliss, Spice or Mary Jane.

They are often so new that there’s been little or no research into their health effects. There have been hospital admissions and deaths linked to the use of NPS.

So what do you need to know?

  • They are often marked as “not for human consumption”.
  • They are often sold as “plant food”, “incense”, “bath salts”, “pond cleaner” or “research chemicals” in shops.
  • Like illegal drugs they can come in powder, pill, liquid or herbal forms and are either swallowed, inhaled, snorted or even injected.
  • They are usually bought and sold either over the internet or in “head shops” however from 26th May 2016 this is now illegal
  • Risks of NPS can include reduced inhibitions, drowsiness, excited or paranoid states, coma, seizures, and death.
  • These risks are increased if used with alcohol or other drugs.

The best advice is to stay safe and avoid NPS.

If you are worried about your NPS use or are worried about someone using NPS, go to:

Talk to Frank

Advice for parents

If you are worried that your child is taking NPS then these tips may help you to broach the subject with them.

• Don’t get angry, if you do often young people will rebel.
• Try not to lecture or talk at them, most people don’t like this and will stop listening.
• Be open, non-judgemental, and make sure you have up-to-date information.
• Understand the facts, do not try to “scaremonger” your child, these tactics are found not to work in many cases.
• Accept some people may choose to use drink or do drugs, don’t patronise your child.
• Listen to them, don’t just expect them to listen to you all of the time, and give them a chance to talk.
• You can’t change someone else’s behaviour and habits unless they themselves want to make a change.
• You won’t be able to change your child instantly and they will need help and support the whole way through the process of quitting.

If you have a problem with drugs, alcohol or NPS you can contact our recovery hub for support and advice on 023 9275 1617 or find out more Portsmouth Recovery Hub