APCC Leads respond to government’s announced ban on twenty dangerous drugs
Following advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), 15 new dangerous synthetic opioids will become Class A drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The government has announced a further five dangerous substances will be controlled as part of the ban which can cause complications such as seizures and liver failure.
APCC Addictions & Substance Misuse Leads, Dorset PCC David Sidwick and Durham PCC Joy Allen, said:
“We welcome tougher action to control the possession and sale of illicit drugs on our streets. The government has acted swiftly to the recommendations made by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) and we fully support the banning of 15 new synthetic opioids as Class A drugs, as well as the further banning and control of stimulants, synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist (SCRA) and a benzodiazepine (remimazolam).
“Combating illicit drugs is critical to reducing acquisitive and violent crime and making our streets safer. This legislation is a step in the right direction in delivering on the government’s 10-year drugs strategy ‘From Harm to Hope’, and addresses the serious risks posed by these dangerous substances such as synthetic opioids, which can be up to 1000 times stronger than heroin. Although not widely prevalent in the UK, we have seen a recent rise in drug misuse deaths involving benzodiazepine and it is vital we act now to protect our communities in the future.
“Police and Crime Commissioner’s across England and Wales are working closely with health and policing partners to identify and respond to the emerging threat of synthetic opioids and other illicit substances by cutting their supply. As the APCC portfolio leads for Addiction and Substance Misuse, we will continue to lead on this issue, working with central government to ensure the banning of synthetic drugs and the control of other high-risk substances is backed by robust enforcement action as demanded by the people we serve. In addition, we will continue to work with the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) and Directors of Public Health to support the effective working of early warning systems and the expansion of the provision of Naloxone by police officers to further prevent overdose-related deaths.”