The Government has today announced the ban of legal drug methoxetamine, otherwise knows as 'mexxy'. It will be made illegal for up to 12 months while the Government's drugs advisers decide whether it should be permanently controlled.
The ban follows concerns around the deaths of two young men Hugo Wenn, 17 and friend Daniel Lloyd, 25, who were found dead after taking the legal drug, although full cause of death is still to be confirmed. In addition, the deaths of a 59-year-old woman and a 32-year-old man in February were linked to the drug.
Mexxy is known to be an alternative to ketamine, but the substance was referred to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) earlier this month with evidence that use can lead to "significant additional toxicity", including agitation, a faster heart rate and higher blood pressure, as well as unsteadiness on the feet.
Such symptoms are rarely seen with ketamine or other recreational drugs, the advisers said.
Professor Les Iversen, chairman of the ACMD, said: "The evidence shows that the use of methoxetamine can cause harm to users. Many of the health effects of methoxetamine are similar to those of ketamine, which is already controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act."
The Home Office have said anyone caught making, supplying or importing the drug will face up to 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
Know the facts. Read the results from Mixmag's 2012 Drug Survey here.