Sunday 18 February 2018

Banned headshop drugs are available online

Fiona Ellis

BANNED headshop drugs can be bought online and shipped into the country, a watchdog body warned yesterday.

The latest report from the National Advisory Committee on Drugs (NACD) found many psychoactive substances made illegal under legislation in May 2010 can be shipped to Ireland from specialist websites.

Websites selling the herbal highs offer discreet packaging and special offers with bulk orders. One site offered "amazing deals", while another claimed that all its products were tested and approved, and a third offered free samples with every purchase. Most claim to be selling legal drugs but when analysed were found to be illegal here.

The NACD called on the Government and the Revenue to renew efforts to tackle the sale of these drugs.

"There are a vast number of online retailers, many of which deliver to Ireland. The report found that while these online products may claim to be 'legal', the products which were analysed all contained illegal substances," NACD chairman Dr Des Corrigan said. Seizures

So far this year, 23 seizures and 35 detentions (products being analysed) of psychoactive substances have been made by custom officers.

"We have adopted a multi-agency approach to this issue and work closely with the Irish Medicines Board and An Garda Siochana. Our operations also involve international co-operation, intelligence exchange and the profiling of suspect consignments," a spokesman said.

Minister of State Roisin Shortall said that the closure of headshops last year represented huge progress but the danger was still out there online.

"The number of headshops dropped from 102 early in 2010 to 11. While this represents huge progress in respect of availability and consumption of new psychoactive substances in Ireland, such substances continue to pose dangers through internet sales," she said.

Irish Independent

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