NEWS
15/09/2011 06:48 BST | Updated 13/11/2011 05:12 GMT

Legal High Ivory Wave To Become Class B Drug, Home Office Says

A legal high known as "Ivory Wave" will be made into a class B drug, the Home Office announced on Thursday morning.

Following advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs earlier this week, the chemical desoxypipradrol, or 2-DPMP, which is found in Ivory Wave, will be made illegal.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs' (ACMD) recommendation followed 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 illegal.

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.

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 is planning to release more information about legal highs as part of a student survival pack for freshers' week.

Baroness Browning, Minister for Crime Prevention and Antisocial Behaviour Reduction, said: "The ACMD's advice on 'Ivory Wave' reinforces what we already know - that substances touted as 'legal highs' contain dangerous and potentially illegal substances.

"Young people in particular may often equate legal with "safe" and are quite simply playing a high risk game of lottery by taking substances without knowing what they contain or their potentially harmful effects.

"We are determined to tackle the harms posed by these drugs and prevent them gaining a foothold in the UK. The generic definition will ensure those trying to profit from this market cannot get round the ban.

"Controlling these substances sends a clear message to users, including young people who may be considering using them, as well as to those producing and supplying them."