Information for users of synthetic substances

Synthetic drugs continue to have severe consequences for users. Synthetic cannabis refers to a huge range of different chemicals and although they are supposed to be similar to cannabis they can react in very unpredictable ways. These chemicals are often highly toxic and dangerous.

The safest way to avoid harm is to not take these drugs. It is unlikely that you will know what chemical you have, how strong it is and how much of it is contained in the product you intend to use. You cannot predict how you will react. Even if you have used it before without mishap the next experience may be very different.

Should you find you are unable to follow the advice not to use these products you should be very cautious taking them, every time. Start with a very small amount and wait for one hour before taking anymore. Don’t mix these synthetics with other substances such as alcohol or other drugs. This may increase the extreme and negative side effects.

It is best not to share these products with others, you cannot predict what reaction the other users will have.

When to get help

Signs of an overdose or using too much can include:

  • vomiting
  • unconsciousness
  • stomach or chest pain
  • racing heart
  • severe anxiety and paranoia
  • seizures
  • hallucinations
  • violent behaviour
  • suicidal thoughts
  • extreme body temperature

Ring 111 if you or someone else is experiencing these symptoms.

Further information

Further information can be found on the following websites:

Last updated 12 February 2018.