The Forensic Institute has discovered 23 legal psychoactive drugs since the beginning of the year, according to newspaper reports.
Eesti Päevaleht reported that the substances had a different chemical makeup from illegal varieties and as a result did not fall under controlled substance statutes.
In recent years, the institute's labs have been sent as many as 100 samples of "new drugs" for testing. This year has seen 50 samples sent, with 23 unique new drugs found. The trend is increasing, as it is all across Europe. In 2005, it is estimated that 14 new psychoactive substances entered the EU market; in 2012, the total of new entries was 73.
Officials at six Estonian agencies, which have been keeping an eye on the problem for years, now plan to take the next step, reported the daily: creating a joint early warning information system on new psychoactive substances, called VAHIS in Estonian.