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June 2018 – UNODC World Drug Report 2018: NPS pose great harm to vulnerable user groups

VIENNA, Austria – June 2018: Only a few substances seem to have established markets of their own or replaced traditional drugs. Nevertheless, the harm caused by NPS use remains considerable. Some single substances have become cemented in niche markets, specifically among small and vulnerable population groups, while others have penetrated the existing established markets of controlled substances, increasing the complexity of the offer of products in the market.

In several countries, patterns of NPS use of among marginalized, vulnerable and socially disadvantaged groups, including homeless people and people with mental health disorders, continue to be widely documented. The injecting use of stimulant NPS also remains a concern, in particular because of reported associated high-risk injecting practices. In addition to the high number of daily injecting episodes, the rate of sharing and reusing of injecting equipment is high among people who inject drugs (PWID) that inject stimulants. NPS use in prison and among people on probation remains an issue of concern in some countries in Europe, North America and Oceania.


Figures 1. Psychoactive substances found in discarded injecting paraphernalia in Hungary, 2016

Source: Valéria Anna Gyarmathy and others, “Diverted medications and new psychoactive substances—a chemical network analysis of discarded injecting paraphernalia in Hungary”, 2017.


For more information, please see:

UNODC World Drug Report 2018 – Booklet 3


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