Brussels: The European Commission has proposed to efficiently withdraw from the market harmful psychoactive substances, known as "legal highs" as alternatives to illicit drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy.
"Legal highs are a growing problem in Europe and it is young people who are most at risk. With a borderless internal market, we need common EU rules to tackle this problem," reported Xinhua citing the Commission's vice president and justice commissioner Viviane Reding here Tuesday while presenting the proposal.
However, the drugs' various legitimate industrial and commercial uses should not be jeopardised, according to the proposal, following warnings from the EU's drug agency and Europol.
The EU's current legislation on detecting and banning new drugs was established in 2005, and is considered by the Commission as no longer fit for the purpose - now it takes two years to submit a single substance to restrictive measures.
Meanwhile, the number of new psychoactive substances detected in the EU has tripled between 2009 and 2012.
This year, more than one new substance has been reported every week. The substances are increasingly available on the Internet and spreading among countries, according to the Commission.