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List of Announcements

  • VIENNA, Austria – December 2017: The Central Asia Synthetic Drugs Situation Assessment 2017 presents that latest information on synthetic drugs, including amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and new psychoactive substances (NPS). The report also provides a contextual analysis of the synthetic drug situation in neighbouring countries including the Russian Federation, China and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    The emergence of a growing number of NPS has been reported by almost every country in Central Asia. Between 2013 and 2016, a total of 58 NPS have been reported by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Of these NPS, more than 43 per cent consisted of synthetic cathinones, followed by synthetic cannabinoids accounting for a 38 per cent share, and phenethylamines making up a 10 per cent share. According to the assessment, there have been a number of reports of NPS being trafficked to and from countries in Central Asia. In recent years, countries in the region have taken steps that included legislative measures and the development of forensic capabilities to address the emergence of NPS.

    Source: UNODC, Early Warning Advisory on NPS.

    For more information, please see:

    UNODC report - Central Asia Synthetic Drugs Situation Assessment 2017

  • LONDON, United Kingdom – December 2017: Several studies have shown that certain groups of people are particularly vulnerable to NPS and often lack awareness and knowledge about the risks and harms of NPS (e.g. men who have sex with men (MSM), prisoners, young people, people affected by homelessness, and people who inject drugs (PWID)).

    According to a report by the United Kingdom’s Inspectorate of Probation and the Care Quality Commission on “New Psychoactive Substances: the response by probation and substance misuse services in the community in England”, many offenders in the country first use NPS in prison and are then released with a substance dependency. The inspection conducted by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation found that probation providers frequently are not told of an individual’s drug use in custody, they work in isolation and lack a general understanding of NPS. Probation teams that collaborated with other agencies, such as Integrated Offender Management and the substance misuse services, were evidenced to be most effective in addressing issues of NPS dependency among offenders. Based on these findings, the Inspectorate of Probation recommended that the National Probation Service work more closely with local partners, enhanced awareness at all levels of the probation services, and provided in-depth training on NPS for probation staff.

    For more information, please see:

    Criminal Justice Joint Inspection report on “New Psychoactive Substances: the response by probation and substance misuse services in the community in England”

    UNODC report - “2017 Global Synthetic Drugs Assessment” (pages 22-23 and 57-59)

  • November 2017 - EMCDDA/Europol: Darknet markets play an increasing role in illicit drug trade, including NPS

    Portugal/Netherlands – November 2017: Drugs and the darknet: perspectives for enforcement, research and policy, a joint publication by the EMCDDA and Europol, presents the latest understanding of how darknet markets function, the threats they pose to health and security and how Europe can respond. The report also includes an analysis of the market from late 2011 until early 2015, encompassing data from seven global darknet marketplaces. The data suggests that, in terms of value, the vast majority of sales during the study period originating from the EU originated from three countries: Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

    The analysis indicates that new psychoactive substances are less commonly sold than illicit drugs on the darknet market, probably reflecting the significant role played by surface web sales in this sector. This may change, however, as these substances are increasingly being placed under control measures and other strategies are being developed to inhibit their open sale.

    For more information, please see:

    EMCDDA/Europol: “Drugs and the darknet – perspectives for enforcement, research and policy”