People who take new synthetic drugs are unaware of the associated risks. This fact has prompted the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) to add 13 substances to the Narcotics List as of 3 December 2019. By adding the substances, the FDHA also intends to combat drug trafficking.
New psychoactive substances (NPS) are synthetic substances with actions similar to narcotics. They are also known as legal highs, designer drugs or research chemicals. The substances are marketed as legal intoxicants because they have not so far been included in the Narcotics Lists.
The consumption of new psychoactive substances poses a health risk: It is not known how they act in conjunction with other substances, how poisonous they are when taken repeatedly, or whether they are addictive. Since they are structurally similar to substances that are already controlled, it must be assumed that the new substances are harmful.
Since December 2011, 241 individual substances and 10 groups (derivatives) have been added to the Narcotics List. This has enabled the authorities to effectively combat the distribution of new psychoactive substances on the black market. Updating of the Ordinance on narcotics lists takes place in coordination with international agencies and is also intended to prevent Switzerland from becoming a transshipment centre for the trade in designer drugs.
The annexes to the Ordinance on narcotics lists (BetmVV-EDI, SR 812.121.11) contain the lists of controlled substances.
The FDHA adds raw materials and products that are suspected to have effects similar to narcotics to list e (Raw materials and products with suspected narcotic-like effects) at Swissmedic’s request.
Last modification 03.12.2019