The Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority administers the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013 which the Government introduced to control the importation, manufacture and sale of psychoactive substances in New Zealand.  Read more about the background to the Act and the regime.

Unidentified Substance in Emergency Departments (USED) Programme

Following a number of recent deaths and hospitalisations around the country that are thought to be linked to the use of synthetic cannabinoids, the Ministry of Health is supporting an initiative by The Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR), the USED programme.

ESR recently ran a small pilot study at the Wellington Hospital Emergency Department. Blood and urine samples were taken from consenting individuals exhibiting signs of unidentified substance intoxication, and tested by ESR to identify any substances present. Based upon the pilot study’s success, ESR has obtained sufficient funding to allow the programme to roll out to all Emergency Departments until June 2018, unless advised otherwise.

The Ministry of Health encourages participation by all Emergency Departments. The programme is intended to identify and manage emerging public health issues relating to illicit substance use. The correlation of presenting signs and symptoms with confirmed toxicological results will help in the creation of treatment guidelines in this rapidly changing area of toxicology.

The USED programme forms and guidance for health care professionals can be found on the Healthcare professionals page.

The New Zealand National Poisons Centre has clinical toxicologists on their staff who can provide treatment advice about unidentified substances taken by individuals. The National Poisons Centre runs a 24-hour 7-day toll free emergency telephone service. Phone: 0800 POISON (0800 764 766).

Register of Products

Currently there are no approved products.

Due to the prohibition on the use of animal testing for the purposes of assessing whether a psychoactive product should be approved, it is unlikely that there will be any approved products for some time.

View the Register of Products page.

Retailers and wholesalers

You can apply for a licence to sell approved products by retail or wholesale. However, because there are no approved products, the Authority recommends that you do not apply for a licence to sell approved products by retail or wholesale at this time.

If you still choose to apply for a licence, more information can be found on the Licence application forms and guidelines page.

Questions? Concerns?


Email if you have any questions or concerns about psychoactive substances in New Zealand.