Public Health England have launched a new online system to report illicit drug reaction, to improve knowledge of the harmful effects of new psychoactive substances.
The ban on these new substances has been successful in reducing their easy availability but there are still many new ones circulating.
The chemical content of these substances frequently changes and their effects can be dangerous and unpredictable. That is why they are so risky.
Frontline health staff regularly see people who have taken these substances and have had a bad reaction.
But the harms and the best way of treating them are poorly understood.
That is why PHE is launching the very first information collection system for adverse reactions to these and other illegal drugs.
This information – reported directly and easily onto the system by those at the frontline dealing with the casualties – will help shed more light on both the immediate and longer term harms of these new drugs.
The information will then be analysed by a team of health experts in this area.
Importantly, having this information at hand will speed up our immediate response in a high pressured A&E department; as well as improving our clinical knowledge on how best to treat the patient – good news for helping improve patient safety.