Hotline created to air legal high concerns

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Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean has welcomed the launch of an 0800 Psychoactive Substance Hotline to help the public report concerns about legal high products in the community.

Mrs Dean said the hotline, on 0800 789 652, enabled citizens to report their concerns about individuals, retail outlets and psychoactive substances in the knowledge that the Ministry of Health and Police would act quickly on reports.

The addition of the 0800 Hotline also added another means for enforcement agencies and the wider community to effectively control the products, she said.

Since the Psychoactive Substances Act took effect on July 18, Mrs Dean said there had been a significant reduction in the range, availability and access to legal highs.

From an estimated 3000 to 4000 to less than 170 interim licensed premises nationwide, the number of retail outlets selling psychoactive products has dropped by 95 per cent. Dairies, convenience and grocery stores, service stations, and liquor outlets are specifically banned from selling psychoactive substances.

From an estimated 200 plus products on the market prior to legislation, the number available under temporary licences had also reduced by more than 75 per cent, Mrs Dean said.

“There are now tough restrictions on the labelling and packaging of these products, advertising is banned and products are restricted to people 18 years and over,” she said.

The Ministry of Health has granted an interim licence for Ruilin Tu, trading as Super Save, to sell psychoactive substances at 41 Thames St in Oamaru. Super Save is the only Oamaru-based outlet to have applied for a licence.

Anyone with information about the drugs or concerns about those selling them are urged to call the hotline on 0800 789 652.