A designer drug known as 4-FA will become illegal in the Netherlands from April next year, junior health minister Martin van Rijn and justice minister Ard van der Steur told MPs on Wednesday.
The decision to ban the party drug is in line with recommendations made by a government committee which monitors new drugs. It said 4-FA – 4-Fluoroamphetamine – should be added to the banned list alongside heroine, cocaine and mdma (ecstasy).
The drug can currently be bought legally online and has grown in popularity over the past two years. In 2013, just 80 of the drug samples taken to official testing clinics were revealed to be 4-FA but last year that had gone up to 700, or more than 10% of all drugs brought in for testing.
In May, the Trimbos addiction clinic issued a report saying there are health risks attached to using the drug. These ranged from headaches to brain hemorrhages and heart problems, the institute said.
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