Large reduction in psychiatric admissions after head-shop ban

Admissions fell nearly 20% in two years after strict laws introduced, research shows

In 2010, young people in Ireland were the biggest users of head shop drugs in Europe, with 7 per cent admitting to using the substances within the last year. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

In 2010, young people in Ireland were the biggest users of head shop drugs in Europe, with 7 per cent admitting to using the substances within the last year. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

There was a significant and immediate reduction in admissions to psychiatric facilities after the strict laws banning head shop drugs were introduced, new research shows.

Head shop drugs, officially termed new psychoactive substances (NPS), started to become popular in Ireland in late 2009. By 2010 there were dozens of shops around the country selling the substances with little or no regulation.

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