Psychoactive substances work by suppressing or stimulating the central nervous system to produce a high. In 2016, the government passed the Psychoactive Substances Act, which bans anything that “by simulating or depressing the person’s central nervous system… UK home secretary Priti Patel, who has a terrible track record when it comes to gay rights, has become an unexpected ally after seeking to clarify the legal status of poppers amid confusion over 2016 legislation, and make them exempt from any bans. In early 2016 it looked like poppers would be banned up in the crackdown on ‘legal highs’ and the sale of ‘psychoactive substances’. As the rumours gathered pace, as our friends fell ill or suddenly vanished from our lives, as wraiths like poor Paul became a routine sight, many gay men abandoned the scene altogether. Community advocate Mark Fisher of Body Positive, a non-profit organisation committed to helping men living with HIV, has raised concerns the regulation was effectively criminalising a gay practice.
The military weren’t too bothered and in fact, some profited from this by helping supply lines. Will the venues be asking their patrons to self-monitor, reporting their fellow queers for popper supply? The Body Positive CEO says the ban will criminalise gay and bisexual men where surveys show 40% are poppers users. “This ban has been implemented without any consideration for the people that it effects and has criminalized our communities overnight. Under Australia’s personal importation scheme, people with a valid prescription can buy poppers online. Because studies have shown isopropyl nitrite and n-propyl nitrite in particular can cause damage to the eyes in some instances, the MCC recommended the entire class of substances should be made prescription only, which effectively ended the easy access the gay community had to the substances. First is that, on a practical level, there are no prescription formulas available in New Zealand and there may not be for some time.
MCC Chair Andi Shirtcliffe says that, because poppers are used for therapeutic purposes and come with some risks, they are considered medicines and under New Zealand’s regulatory framework all medicines are required to be regulated. MCC Chair Andi Shirtcliffe has offered to meet representatives of the stakeholder groups to discuss the issue. On March 6, Medsafe decided to accept the MCC recommendation and have enforced a new ban on sales by contacting wholesalers and suppliers informing them to remove stock immediately. Dr Peter Saxton, a senior researcher at the School of Population Health at the University of Auckland, thinks Medsafe could have been more wary of discrimination in this instance. One nun had found a suspicious-looking bag in a high school bathroom and presented it to Mother Superior Mary Regina. To have been included, poppers would have had to be found capable of creating a psychoactive effect. In submissions made in response to the recommendation, venue owners have pointed out that many men who use poppers are not ‘out’ and do not want to ask their doctors or pharmacists for the product.
As are doctors and ex-AFP chiefs alike, poppers uk who are respectively calling the proposal a “backward step” and an ‘ineffective’ way to prevent any health risks. When the GIs went back to the US, there was no way they were giving up the poppers. Dr Daniel Demant, public health researcher at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), conducted the study and said he welcomed the decision by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to step back from prohibiting poppers. An interim decision by the TGA in 2018 recommended poppers be classed as a prohibited substance, in the same category as methamphetamine and heroin, which would have made “overnight criminals” of the estimated 100,000 plus Australian users. For many men who have sex with men, alkyl nitrites are the only product that allow them to have enjoyable sex without injury,” says Len Tooley, Advancement and Evaluation Director of the Community-Based Research Centre. Poppers, AKA alkyl nitrites, are sold as room odourisers, but are commonly inhaled recreationally. Data from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study showed that poppers, because of increased unprotected anal intercourse, doubled the risk hazard for acquiring HIV, and the use of poppers and methamphetamine tripled that risk. Are poppers legal? You’ve got questions and Jeremy Prillwitz, MA, CATC, a counselor for the Stonewall Project at San Francisco AIDS Foundation has answers.