The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 came into force on 26 May 2016. It is now an offence to produce, supply, import or export psychoactive substances which are consumed purely for their side effects. Possession of psychoactive substances is only an offence if it is within a custodial institution such as prison. Substances that are used every day such as nicotine, medicines coffee and alcohol are exempt from the banned list.
Legal Highs Under new Regulations
The introduction of the act is an attempt by the Government to clamp down on ‘legal highs’, which are chemicals that when consumed, imitate the side effects and feeling of illegal drugs.
Unlike illegal drugs which are controlled by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, prior to the enforcement of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, ‘legal highs’ were just that, legal and had no control or regulation.
The substances that the 2016 act bans are those that have ingredients that have likely not had any testing on humans, and are likely to have been mixed with other substances making their side effects unpredictable.
Making Your Drug and Alcohol Employment Policy Compliant
It is advised that employers make sure they make the necessary amendments and include the use of psychoactive substances within their drug and alcohol policies.
It is recommended that the effects of the psychoactive substances on an employee’s ability to perform their job correctly and up to the standard required is focused on, rather than on the substances themselves.
For more information on the impact of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 and the impact on the alcohol and substance misuse policies, or any advice on HR and employment related issues contact us on 0114 3032300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.