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Legal High Ivory Wave Should Be Made Illegal, Drugs Advisory Council Says

13/09/2011 13:51 | Updated 13 November 2011

A legal high known as "Ivory Wave" should be made into a class B drug, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has recommended.

In advice to the government on Tuesday it said that the chemical desoxypipradrol, or 2-DPMP, which is found in Ivory Wave, should be made illegal.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs’ (ACMD) recommendation follows the government implementing a ban on imports of 2-DPMP.

Similar ‘legal highs’ which have been reviewed by the ACMD, naphyrone, mephedrone (also known as meow meow) Spice, GBL and BZP have also been made illeagal.

Ivory Wave is said to act like an amphetamine, similar to the controlled drug Ritalin. It is sold in powder form and can cause paranoia and hallucinations.

Professor Les Iversen, chair of the ACMD said: "The health effects of desoxypipradrol (2-DPMP) and its related compounds correspond with those related to other Class B drugs and have the potential to cause harm.

"That is why we are recommending that the government takes action to control the substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act".

Harry Shapiro, Director of Communications at DrugScope, control of the substance was "justified" but banning legal highs was not always the answer.

"As mephedrone has shown, simply banning a substance does not necessarily prevent its use. In the most recent stats published by the Home Office, 4.4 per cent of 16 to 24 year olds surveyed had used mephedrone the last year, despite it being banned in April 2010. Public health and education measures are therefore just as important as the law in responding to drug use.”

The government have welcomed the advice and will respond to the recommendation shortly.

A spokesperson said: "The ACMD's advice on 'Ivory Wave' reinforces what we already know — that substances touted as 'legal highs' contain dangerous and illegal substances. We have already taken action to ban the importation of 2-DPMP. We welcome this further comprehensive advice from the ACMD. We will consider the advice in full and respond very shortly.”

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