THE Guardia Civil has arrested a whopping 52 people and have seized more than 130,000 portions of a new synthetic drug after a large scale operation involving police in the UK, Holland, Belgium, and Germany took place.
The drug bust is the largest in Spain concerning new designer drugs which have recently started becoming popular and are known as as ‘New Psychoactive Substances (NSP)’, and are sometimes classified as ‘legal highs’. The synthetic substances include cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones. Synthetic cannabinoids, have a similar effect to that of marihuana whilst synthetic cathinones are used as substitutes for amphetamine, MDMA or cocaine.
The operation took place in Alicante after the Civil Guard became aware of the existence of a company based in the province, which after extensive investigation, was linked to the production and distribution of synthetic cannabinoids. The company was responsible for the importation and production of the substances originally from China, and were being sold over the internet intended primarily for Germany. Germany has already seen a number of fatalities due to the rise of the new synthetic drug.
Psychoactive substances (NSP) are a new type of narcotic or psychotropic drug, which are not always considered illicit drugs due to the fact they sometimes come under the heading of ‘legal highs’. They can be extremely dangerous as the substances are constantly evolving, maintaining the core ingredients but slightly changing the chemical make-up making the products difficult to identify when they reach the market and therefore difficult to treat.
Different international organisations such as WHO, the UN, the EU, and national bodies such as the Government Delegation for the National Plan on Drugs, warn of the increasing use of these products and the health risks that they pose.