After three years of relative stability, ATS seizures reached a new peak of more than 170 tons in 2014. Since 2009, global amphetamine seizures have fluctuated annually between about 20 and 46 tons, while "ecstasy" seizures more than doubled in 2014, to 9 tons, compared with the annual averages of 4-5 tons since 2009. For the past few years, methamphetamine seizures have accounted for the largest share of global ATS seizures annually, but, although methamphetamine is a feature of ATS markets worldwide, it is particularly dominant in East and South-East Asia and North America. Since 2009, those subregions together have annually accounted for most global methamphetamine seizures. Compared with other subregions, North America has consistently reported the largest amount of methamphetamine seizures each year, whereas between 2009 and 2014, methamphetamine seizures reported in East and South-East Asia almost quadrupled.
In Oceania, strong increases in methamphetamine seizures have been recorded since 2012. There is a growing number of users of crystalline methamphetamine in the region, as well as increased frequency of use among certain user groups, an increase in methamphetamine purity and a decline in purity-adjusted prices, all of which could aggravate the negative impact on the health of individuals and on society in general.
The NPS market continues to be characterized by the large number of new substances being reported. Although data collection for 2015 is still in progress, 75 new substances have been reported to UNODC for the first time, compared with a total of only 66 new substances reported in 2014. Between 2012 and 2014, most substances reported for the first time belonged to the group of synthetic cannabinoids, but the data reported for 2015 so far show a different pattern: firstly, almost as many synthetic cathinones (20) were reported for the first time as were synthetic cannabinoids (21); secondly, a wide range of substances (21) not belonging to any of the major groups identified in previous years were reported for the first time, which included synthetic opioids (e.g., fentanyl derivatives) and sedatives (e.g., benzodiazepines).
Significant quantities of NPS seized have been reported over the past few years. The global market for synthetic NPS continues to be dominated by synthetic cannabinoids (seizures of 32 tons), with North America (specifically the United States with 26.5 tons of seizures) accounting for the largest quantities seized worldwide in 2014, out of the global total of 34 tons (excluding plant-based NPS and ketamine). However, global seizures of synthetic cathinones have been steadily increasing since they were first reported in 2010, with seizures tripling to 1.3 tons in 2014 from the previous year.