10 April 2015

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From 10 April 2015 the sale and distribution of ethylphenidate is banned and it will remain illegal for up to 12 months while drug experts consider its full range of harms.

Along with ethylphenidate, 4 other related new psychoactive substances (NPS) with similar harms; 3,4-DCMP’, HDMP-28, IPP or IPPD and propylphenidate, will also be banned under the order.

These 5 substances are very similar to methylphenidate (Ritalin) which is a licensed stimulant pharmaceutical and is controlled in the UK as a Class B drug.

Ethylphenidate is the most common of the drugs being banned, and is marketed as both as a single substance ‘research chemical’ and as a component of ‘branded’ products such as ‘Gogaine’, ‘Burst’, ‘Banshee Dust’ and ‘Evoke’. ‘Burst’ has been associated with lots of Accident and Emergency visits in Scotland.

What this means for you?

It is now illegal to sell, supply or give away these substances to friends. If the police suspects that you have a new psychoactive substance (or so called ‘legal high’) which contains a temporary class drug, they can confiscate the substance and dispose of it. Supplying someone else, including your friends, can get you fourteen years in jail and/or an unlimited fine under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Crew, an Edinburgh based drug service with expertise in NPS, have produced a list of some of the NPS brand names that have listed ethylphenidate as an ingredient:

Blizzard, Ching, Mr White, El Blanco, Gogaine, Magic Crystals, Race, Sparkle, Jack and Jills, Burst, Banshee Dust, Heisenberg, Blue Stuff, Psyclone (clown), Ice-n-berg, Blanca, Exotix Ultra, Snow White, Ocean Burst, Blue, Columbinia, Mind Charge, Posh, Spangled, Speed Rush, Sub Zero, YPDOUT, Yeah Bitch!

If you have a dependency to this drug and stop taking it you may experience withdrawal symptoms which can include seizures, sickness and diarrhoea, headaches, pains and hallucinations. If symptoms become too much seek medical help and in an emergency call 999.

What is ethylphenidate?

Ethylphenidate is a stimulant which will give effects similar to drugs like amphetamines (speed) and cocaine. Stimulants generally increase heart rate, confidence, euphoria and energy

Why is there concern about ethylphenidate?

Ethylphenidate use can cause:

  • Temporary feelings alertness and energy
  • Feelings of anxiety, confusion, panic and paranoia
  • Unpredictable and violent behaviour
  • Users report strong urge to re-dose which can lead to dependence
  • In those who inject there have been outbreaks of infections associated with NPS injecting believed to involve ethylphenidate. Injecting NPS is extremely dangerous and can result in soft skin infection. Sharing equipment can also expose you to viruses such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.

Where to get advice

For more information about new psychoactive substances, or so called ‘legal highs’, visit our drugs A-Z or call the Know the Score helpline on 0800 587 587 9 for free confidential advice and information.

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