Since first coming to public prominence at the end of 2009, legal highs have posed a major challenge to existing legal and legislative structures designed to deal with drugs. With the market in manufactured psychoactive substances like mephedrone moving faster than public policy can accommodate, this report asks whether the assumptions enshrined in the 40-year-old Misuse of Drugs Act are still valid when applied 21st century drugs market.

Bringing together stakeholders from across all areas involved in drugs policy – including frontline practitioners such as medical professionals, youth workers and law enforcement – Taking Drugs Seriously brings bold, innovative responses to an area too often dominated by stale rhetoric. The report points a way forward for public policy, taking account of the opportunities for new thinking presented by the challenges of the modern drugs market.