Twenty four new psychoactive drugs were reported to the official European monitoring centre during 2009, the largest number ever reported in a single year.
All the new drugs were synthetic compounds, and included 9 cannabinoid (cannabis) like substances.
The growth in synthesised drugs, side-stepping current legal restrictions to enable fast market and internet sales of “legal highs” seems to have been the growth trend of 2009 with a reduction in MDMA in tablets sold as E’s and substitution with Piperazine mCPP like substances.
As the UK moves to legislate to cover these developments, the market will move to traditional criminal production and supply chains associated with established drug groups.
There is still no test available for any of these new drugs, making screening and detection difficult.