Poppers, or aromas as they’re also known, will not become illegal as part of moves to outlaw so-called legal highs, Home Office minister, Karen Bradley has announced.
The U-turn came after the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) advised the Government that poppers should not be banned. The last-minute reprieve follows an outcry among gay people who use poppers to enhance sexual pleasure.
The ACMD said its “consensus view is that a psychoactive substance has a direct action on the brain and that substances having peripheral effects, such as those caused by alkyl nitrites, do not directly stimulate or depress the central nervous system”.
In a letter responding, Karen Bradley said that, given due consideration, the Government agreed with their advice and interpretation of the definition. She went on to confirm that the police and other law enforcement agencies would be asked not to take action against anyone involved in the poppers trade.
The ACMD says concerns about impaired sight and the risk of lower blood pressure related to use of poppers are rare but should be carefully monitored. According to the ACMD, there have been 11 cases where the death certificate only mentioned an alkyl nitrate in England and Wales between 1993 and 2013.