The British government banned the sale of amyl nitrate, otherwise known among gay men as “poppers.” Under the Psychoactive Substances Bill, which became law last week, those caught selling the drugs faces up to seven years in prison.
Poppers have long been used as a party drug, offering a brief and sudden sense of euphoria combined with a sense of calm, especially when used during sex.
Rosanna O’Connor, a spokesperson for Public Health England, said: “The risks for users of new psychoactive substances can be particularly high especially when so little is known about their content, which can be dangerous and in some cases lead to death.”
“A ban would aim to reduce the easy availability of these substances,” O’Connor continued, “but we also crucially need to continue to focus on preventing and treating the harms that they can cause.”
But not everyone agrees with the new regulations.
Professor David Nutt, the Government’s former chief drugs adviser, called the new law “utterly pointless,” saying: “It will make no difference. People will just go back to cocaine and heroin… It is an extraordinarily simplistic and retrograde step. It won’t reduce harms, it may well increase harms.”