Report reactions to legal highs via new website, GPs urged

GPs are being encouraged to report adverse reactions to legal highs and other illicit drugs in a pilot scheme launched by the MHRA.

New psychoactive substances pose potentially serious risks to health. | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
New psychoactive substances pose potentially serious risks to health. | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

A pilot reporting website, Report Illicit Drug Reaction (RIDR), will be available for 1 year for healthcare professionals across the UK who come into contact with patients experiencing harm associated with the use of illicit drugs, particularly new psychoactive substances - previously known as 'legal highs'.

Further information

Drug Safety Update

The pilot aims to collect data on harms from illicit drug use, to support the provision of clinical guidance.

The RIDR site offers a simple reporting process based on the Yellow Card website. Registered users of the Yellow Card site can even log in with the same details to access all their reports in one place.

The number of new psychoactive substances identified in recent years has increased rapidly, with greater availability over the internet. 

Hospital admissions for poisoning by psychostimulants with abuse potential increased by 44% in England and Wales from the period 2009–10 to 2014–15. At present, evidence is lacking about the long-term health risks associated with use of such illicit substances, and the MHRA believes more monitoring is needed.

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