Synthetic drugs

'legal highs', herbal highs, new and emerging drugs

Synthetic drugs are products containing chemical substances artificially developed to mimic the effects of illegal drugs like cannabis, cocaine and methamphetamine. 

Small purple pot with synthetic cannabis

They come in the form of powders, pills and dried herbs that have been soaked in synthetic chemicals. They are often sold online and through adult stores and tobacconists.

These drugs are often promoted or sold as if they are harmless and are called names like herbal highs, party pills, herbal ecstasy or bath salts.

Many new psychoactive substances are illegal because of the potential risk of harm they pose.

Source: NSW Health

Synthetic drugs and the law

Because of the potential risk of harm from using them, NSW has now introduced a range of laws that prohibit the sale, supply, manufacture and advertisement of all new psychoactive substances, as well as the possession of many such substances.
For information on penalties for drug offences regarding prohibited new psychoactive substances go to