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Ministerial Decision classifies cathinone drugs as Class B

08 September 2010

The Health Minister has signed a Ministerial Decision to classify all cathinone derivatives, including naphyrone which is often found in NRG, as Class B controlled drugs under the Jersey Misuse of Drugs Law.

The cathinone group also includes substances such as mephedrone, methcathinone (similar to amphetamine), and butylone and methylone (similar to ecstasy). The Ministerial Decision has been worded to cover currently known cathinone compounds and other variations that could be developed in the future.

Cathinones are stimulant drugs which work in a similar way to ecstasy and speed.  Mephedrone was the first of these substances to attract public attention and was made a controlled drug in Jersey in November 2009 under Class C. Growing evidence of its dangers led to its reclassification to Class B on 2 June. 

Medical Officer of Health, Dr Rosemary Geller, said “'Legal highs' can contain a range of potentially dangerous chemicals and I am pleased the law has been extended to include this group of substances. 

“Users can never be 100% certain about what they have bought, what the effects might be and whether it’s illegal or not. It is important that people understand that just because a substance is sold as legal, it does not mean it is safe to take.”

Side effects for users of cathinones include abnormal heart rhythms, fits, agitation and paranoia, hallucinations, severe nosebleeds, vomiting, rashes and overheating. The risks are even greater if used with alcohol or other drugs.  

Health and Social Services Minister, Deputy Anne Pryke, said “Our first duty is to protect Islanders, and in particular young people, from these new substances.”

Further information and advice is available from the Youth Enquiry Service on +44 (0) 1534 766628 and the Alcohol and Drug Service on +44 (0) 1534 445000.


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