VIENNA, Austria – March 2022: At its 65th regular session from 14 to 18 March 2022, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs decided to place three new psychoactive substances under international control. Following recommendations by the WHO, three substances were added to the relevant schedules of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 as amended by the 1972 Protocol and the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971.
Added to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, as amended by the 1972 Protocol:
- Brorphine – (Schedule I)
- Metonitazene – (Schedule I)
Added to the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971:
- Eutylone – (Schedule II)
The addition of the two synthetic opioids brorphine and metonitazene follows the addition of isotonitazene in 2021 and increases the number of opioids scheduled since 2015 to 20. Metonitazene and isotonitazene are two of the eight nitazenes that have been reported to the UNODC Early Warning Advisory. While a number of nitazenes have emerged recently, they are a class of synthetic opioids that have been known for some time, and etonitazene and clonitazene were already included in the original scheduling list of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 (see Figure 1). Brorphine is a synthetic opioid with a structure similar to bezitramide, an opioid listed in Schedule I of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961.
Figure 1: Timeline of CND scheduling decisions on nitazenes, bezitramide and brorphine
Source: UNODC elaboration.
Moreover, the Commission added the stimulant eutylone to Schedule II of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971, increasing the number of synthetic cathinones listed in this Convention to 17 (see Figure 2). The history of scheduling of cathinones reaches back to 1971, when Amfepramone was included in the original list of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971. Cathine and cathinone were scheduled over a decade later, together with Pyrovalerone. The majority of cathinones have been scheduled after 2015, when several new substances from this group emerged every year on the drug market.
Figure 2: Timeline of CND scheduling decisions on cathinones
Source: UNODC elaboration.
For further information please see:
UNODC EWA news clip on substances recommended for scheduling by the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence: December 2021 – WHO: World Health Organization recommends 3 NPS for scheduling.
For detailed information on the forty-fourth meeting, substance evaluation and previous committees of the WHO ECDD, please click here.
UNODC EWA news clip: August 2020 – UNODC EWA: Brorphine, a newly emerging synthetic opioid detected in post-mortem cases
Virtual CND exhibition of the UNODC Laboratory and Scientific Service: The Laboratory
and Products and Services***The Spanish translation of this news item is made possible thanks to a collaboration with OAS/CICAD, a partner of the UNODC EWA.**