The Home Secretary has said the drug mephedrone, known as “miaow-miaow” and linked to up to 25 deaths in England and Scotland, will be banned and made a Class B substance.
The Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, also put an immediate ban on importing the drug.
Mr Johnson was given a report backing a ban on mephedrone - also known as miaow-miaow, MCAT or Plant Food -by Professor Les Iversen, chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.
Need to keep ahead of news, guidelines and clinical research, but don’t have time to trawl the internet and read all the journals? Let Nursing Times do the work for you, with our free, comprehensive round-up, delivered direct to your inbox every day.
Following talks at the Home Office with Prof Iversen, Mr Johnson said he had accepted the council’s advice.
The ban will cover not just mephedrone but all similar substances in a group called cathinones and is likely to come into force by the end of April.
He said: “As a result of the council’s swift advice, I am introducing legislation to ban not just mephedrone and other cathinones but also to enshrine in law a generic definition so that, as with synthetic cannabinoids, we can be in the forefront of dealing with this whole family of drugs.
“This will stop unscrupulous manufacturers and others peddling different but similarly harmful drugs.
“My department will lay the necessary order in Parliament.
“I am seeking cross-party support to swiftly ban these dangerous drugs from our streets.”