Predict.  Prevent.  Protect.

In June 2018, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) launched an integrated strategy to support countries in addressing the on-going synthetic opioids crisis affecting mainly North America with fentanyl and its analogues, and in parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East with tramadol. The UNODC integrated strategy includes: coordinating the international response; reducing supply of opioids for non-medical use through changes in the scope of control of substances, supporting the implementation of scheduling decisions of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), as well as capacity building in support of national law enforcement interventions; promoting rational use of, and access to, opioids for medical and scientific purposes; and promoting effective prevention strategies and treatment options for substance-use disorders. The strategic response brings together existing UNODC expertise and programmes under one umbrella for a timely organization-wide response that leverages a unique set of complementary activities and resources as well as coordinating inter-agency collaboration with key partners as the WHO and the INCB.

The integrated UNODC Opioid Strategy is supported by a comprehensive communications and advocacy plan, to highlight global activities, successes and best practices in addressing the opioid crisis. This will raise public awareness on the progress of the strategy and support the visibility of the multilateral response to the crisis and donor commitments and contributions.

The five pillars of the UNODC Opioid Strategy are: 

1. Early warning and trend analysis
    Generating evidence in support of effective policy decisions and operational responses

2. Rationale prescribing and access to opioids for medical and scientific use
    Promoting interagency cooperation in addressing the non-medical use of opioids

3. Prevention and treatment programmes
    Strengthening and supporting prevention and treatment programmes related to opioids

4. International law enforcement operations to disrupt trafficking
    Enhancing operational activities to prevent the diversion and trafficking of synthetic opioids

5. Strengthening national and international counternarcotic capacity
    Raising awareness, sharing best practices and promoting international cooperation