VIENNA, Austria – December 2018: On 3 to 4 December, the intergovernmental expert group meeting on international challenges posed by the non-medical use of synthetic opioids was convened by UNODC, together with INCB and WHO, at the Vienna International Centre. Challenges of synthetic opioids include the non-medical use of medicines, such as tramadol, and NPS with opioid effects, including many analogues of fentanyl. Experts at the meeting agreed that international and multilateral cooperation across relevant sectors should be increased, including collaboration between law enforcement, justice and health sectors. Regarding the public health aspect of non-medical use of synthetic opioids, participants noted that increased data collection at the national, regional, international levels is required, to better identify the scope of the synthetic drug problem so efforts can be more targeted and effective.
The meeting immediately preceded the reconvened sixty-first session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), held from 5 to 7 December 2018. The two-day meeting enabled Member States, regional and international organisations to share experiences, learn more about the challenges involved and propose core elements and innovative approaches for an international response. A report of the meeting will be developed and made available in all official UN languages for the sixty-second regular session of the CND.