The "legal high" mephedrone is to be banned from Friday, the Home Office has announced.
The move, which will see the drug placed in the Class B category, means anyone caught with the substance could face up to five years in prison. Dealers could face a maximum of 14 years.
Debates around the prohibition of mephedrone have seen two government drug advisers recently resign from their posts.
Earlier this month, Eric Carlin followed Dr Polly Taylor in stepping down from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.
A letter of resignation from Mr Carlin said the ban had been made despite there being "little or no discussion about how our recommendation to classify this drug would be likely to impact on young people's behaviour".
"The decision was unduly based on media and political pressure," he added.
Several deaths in England and Wales have been linked to the drug.