Press Release

Government declares certain substances to be controlled drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act

Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar has announced that the Government has approved an Order declaring a number of “legal highs” which have been risk assessed at EU level, to be controlled drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Acts.

“These substances are dangerous and pose significant health risks for people who use them” the Minister said. “Four of the substances are so-called “legal highs” and have no legitimate use.  In addition, the level of control under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations which will apply to GHB, a substance used in anaesthesia but which has the potential to be misused, is to be increased.”


The Misuse of Drugs Regulations, made under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977, are the primary legislative instrument regulating the import, export, manufacture, production, prescribing, supply, possession and administration of controlled drugs within the Irish health system.

Since 1977, 8 such Declaration Orders have been made, the most recent in 2010 and 2011 to control new psychoactive substances being sold in “head shops” and over the internet.
The substances which are the subject of the Declaration Order are as follows:
• 4-Hydroxybutanoic acid (otherwise known as GHB),
• 5-(2-Aminopropyl)indole (otherwise known as 5-IT),
• 3,4-dichloro-N-[[1-(dimethylamino)cyclohexyl]methyl]benzamide (otherwise known as AH-7921),
• 4-iodo-2,5-dimethoxy-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)phenethylamine (otherwise known as 25I-NBOMe),
• 2-(3-methoxyphenyl)-2-(ethylamino)cyclohexanone (otherwise known as Methoxetamine).