Report Illicit Drug Reactions (RIDR)

Read about Public Health England's "yellow card" system to Report Illicit Drug Reactions (RIDR). On 22 March 2017, PHE launched a pilot of a national system for reporting the adverse effects of new psychoactive substances (NPS) and other illicit drugs.

Report Illicit Drugs Reactions (RIDR) - for all frontline clinicians and healthcare professionals

The RIDR pilot is intended to provide more information about the harms of new drugs, many of which are poorly understood. We anticipate that a better understanding of NPS-related harms will lead to improved interventions to reduce NPS-related morbidity and mortality.

RIDR enables health professionals to report adverse effects of NPS (or any illicit drug) that they encounter with patients. Essentially we are trying to reach any front-line clinician or healthcare professional who comes into contact with patients suffering from adverse reactions caused by NPS. This includes, but is not limited to staff working in emergency departments, general practice, sexual health, prison health, mental health and drug treatment services.

Frontline healthcare professionals can enter details of the reaction and information about the drugs that caused it on a web-form here. This reporting system was developed in collaboration with the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and operates very much like the MHRA’s Yellow Card Scheme for reporting adverse reactions to pharmaceutical products. Most clinicians will be familiar with this reporting system.

Participation in the pilot is voluntary, but its success will rely on healthcare professionals being aware of and using the online reporting system. We would encourage you to take part, as your contribution will help us to improve knowledge of NPS harms and to advise about effective interventions to assist people who are providing care to these patients, sometimes in very challenging circumstances.

Further information

The pilot is part of PHE’s wider work on developing a NPS information system. The overall aim of this system is to reduce the length of time between the emergence of drug-related health harms and the development of effective clinical responses, leading ultimately to a lower incidence of drug-related morbidity and mortality.

PHE set up a NPS clinical network in 2015 to look at NPS data and information from existing drugs intelligence systems, to identify harms, patterns and agree appropriate clinical responses. The network brings together clinicians, other front-line experts and policy makers from across government. Now that RIDR is up and running, the clinical network will include data being reported via that route in its analyses alongside intelligence coming in from any other sources.

Information from the NPS clinical network will be disseminated via the RIDR website, which includes a page for summary reports and relevant publications, and the National Poisons Information Service’s TOXBASE website. The aim is to give accurate, timely information to enhance clinical response. Urgent information will be disseminated via the Department of Health’s Central Alerting System and PHE’s alerting processes.

Further information about RIDR can be found at 

If you have any queries, please email