Police warning over new drug
NRG-1 is being sold to clubbers as ‘the next meow meow’.
The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) said that NRG-1 or Energy-1 is becoming widespread across Scotland, with the drugs marketed as legal substances through UK internet sites and specialist shops.
Police believe the drug possibly has dangerous side effects, and samples have been found to contain Class B drugs, mainly a substance called Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV).
They said that anyone caught in possession of these drugs could face jail if controlled substances are found to be present.
The warning comes as thousands of people head for the annual Rockness music festival near Inverness which runs from Friday until Monday.
NRG-1 is one of 24 new psychoactive substances that police authorities have learned about in recent months.
Some websites state that it contains a substance called Napthylpyrovalerone, also known as Naphyrone, which is not a controlled substance.
The effects of NRG-1 described by these websites are that it is stimulant-like. Some sites refer to it as ‘the next meow meow’, a reference to the recently-banned mephedrone.
However police say users are reporting experiencing extreme anxiety and hospitals are reporting a number of admissions where people have required treatment after using the substance.
Detective Superintendent Willie MacColl said: "It is important that people understand the risks associated with such substances which are prepared and packaged in an unregulated manner. What the label says does not always reflect what is in the contents.
"Users can never be sure what they are taking and this could lead to severe consequences. The adverse effects on an individual's health are not known and there is a real potential for short term and long term harm from these substances.
"Samples recovered by police in recent weeks have been analysed and all have actually been found to contain a Class B drug MDPV, which carries serious penalties, including a fine or jail term for those found in possession or supplying the substance."
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary’s Dr Roland Armes said that over the last month he and his colleagues in the Emergency Department have treated an increasing number of patients who have taken substances labelled as NRG-1.
He said common physical symptoms have included increased blood pressure, heart rate and temperature, abnormal and uncontrollable muscle movements and sweating, while psychological symptoms were "common and severe", including agitation, anxiety and paranoia.
Dr Armes said: "These symptoms appear to persist for a prolonged period after taking NRG-1; in some cases several days. Use of this substance has resulted in a number of patients requiring hospital admission."
Dr Armes said that there appeared to be "serious and unpredictable health risks" associated with the use of even small quantities of NRG-1 and said he feared that sooner or later a user would suffer significant complications.
Doctors also warn users against mixing the substance with another drug or alcohol as the consequences could be even more severe.
Dave Liddell of the Scottish Drugs Forum said the drug was being marketed by dealers to "take the place of mephedrone".
He said: "We know little about the true extent of the risks from these new substances - whether they are banned or not - and the potential impact on young lives has to be of concern.
"People who use these drugs may think of themselves as the media-savvy generation but they are highly unlikely to be as clued up about the risks and harms involved with these drugs - whether using just one drug, or mixing it with alcohol and other drugs.
"It's crucial they get accurate and credible information from a source they will trust and are willing to listen to."
10 June 2010 17:01 GMT
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Police warning over new drug