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Tougher laws on synthetic drugs welcomed by Aberdeenshire MP

By Kyle Ritchie

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New UK laws will beef up the control of new synthetic drugs linked to at least 54 UK deaths last year.

More deadly than heroin and fentanyl, nitazenes are now Class A drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, following advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.

People caught in possession of them could also face up to seven years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both.

New UK laws will beef up the control of new synthetic drugs.
New UK laws will beef up the control of new synthetic drugs.

And the law will be future proofed by introducing a generic definition of nitazenes, to capture any new drugs that emerge in future.

Andrew Bowie, MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, said: “These substances are highly addictive and incredibly dangerous and pose a higher risk of accidental overdose.

“There is undeniable evidence that these toxic chemicals – often masquerading as painkillers like oxycodone – are on the streets across the north-east.

“Nitazenes are so new that drug and alcohol authorities are still trying to record the number of hospital admissions and unfortunate deaths they are causing.

“By taking action now, placing them under the strictest controls, the UK Government sends a clear message to anyone involved in production or supply of these drugs.”

The announcement comes after latest figures published last week from Police Scotland showed that the number of suspected drug deaths in Scotland rose by 10 per cent last year.

There were 1197 suspected drug deaths between January and December 2023, 105 more than during the same period in 2022.

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