“New psychoactive substances" (NPS) have been known in the market by terms such as “legal highs”, “bath salts” and “research chemicals”. UNODC* uses the term “new psychoactive substances" which are defined as “substances of abuse, either in a pure form or a preparation, that are not controlled by the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs or the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, but which may pose a public health threat”.
The term “new” does not necessarily refer to new inventions — several NPS were first synthesized decades ago — but to substances that have recently become available on the market.
*United Nations Office On Drug and Crime
Analytical technologies contribute to addressing the situation.