Legal highs

The law changed on 26 May 2016, and so  called legal highs are now illegal under the new Psychoactive Substances Act. Possessing these substances with the intent to supply (sell them to other people), offering to supply (sharing them with friends) or importing legal highs (buying them from internet sites based abroad to be delivered here) can mean you can get up to seven years in prison and/or a fine. 

New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) were commonly known as legal highs.

Are NPS safe?

These substances are not always safe to use and often contain controlled drugs.

The facts about NPS

  • rapidly developing and expanding market
  • misleading descriptions including, plant food, bath salts, research chemicals, bath bombs, etc
  • cheap to purchase and widely available via the internet
  • no disclaimer or product warnings given to consumers
  • general misconception within the public that these are a safe alternative to other illegal substances
  • many can cause significant health risks especially when mixed with other drugs or alcohol
  • there is no control over the content of the drug
  • the marketing of the substances is targeted towards young people

What are we doing to address the issues?

Scottish Borders has been proactive in raising awareness around NPS and new drug trends.

Due to the work by the Alcohol and Drugs Partnership and our Safer Communities Team, frontline services now have a better knowledge and understanding. They can now effectively respond to, treat and engage with people using NPS.

We continue to raise awareness of NPS and associated harm, and we encourage people affected to seek appropriate support.


Crew help people make positive choices by providing non-judgemental, credible and up to date information and support.

Address: 32/32a Cockburn Street

Safer communities

Address: Council Headquarters
Newtown St. Boswells

Telephone: 0300 100 1800