skip to the main content area of this page

List of Announcements

  • VIENNA, Austria – June 2019: The overall quantities of synthetic NPS seized showed a marked increase at the beginning of the second decade of the new millennium but, irrespective of the reported increase in 2017, have not grown notably since (see Figure 1). This may reflect the fact that some of the most harmful NPS have been put under national and international control in recent years and are therefore produced and trafficked less than in the past. 

    A total of 66 countries across all regions reported seizures of synthetic NPS to UNODC over the period 2007–2017, rising from 15 countries in 2007 to 45 countries in 2017. Most of the quantities of synthetic NPS seized were reported in the Americas (mostly North America), followed by Asia (mostly East and South-East Asia) and Europe (Western and Central Europe and Eastern Europe). Data also indicate the dominance of synthetic cannabinoids within the seizures of synthetic NPS throughout the second decade of the new millennium. These were followed by ketamine and synthetic cathinones over the period 2014–2017.

    Figure 1: Global quantities of synthetic NPS seized, 2007-2017

    Source: UNODC, responses to annual report questionnaire (World Drug Report 2019).

    For more information please see:

    World Drug Report 2019 – Booklet 2

  • VIENNA, Austria – June 2019: The UNODC Global SMART Programme has released the fourth issue of the Global SMART Newsletter for Latin America and the Caribbean, which highlights synthetic drug trends and UNODC activities in the region.

    In this edition, light is shed on the emergence of synthetic opioids, particularly the increase of fentanyl seizures reported in Mexico this year. The newsletter also highlights female non-medical use of tranquilizers in Latin America and the Caribbean (see Figure 1) and the First Regional Conference Against Drug Trafficking Networks held in Panama City in April 2019.


    This Newsletter is available in English and in Spanish.

    For subscription please register here.

  • LISBON, Portugal – June 2019:Opioids and synthetic opioids, the continued growth of Europe’s cocaine market and implications of cannabis policy developments and the dynamics of the new psychoactive substances (NPS) market are among the issues addressed in the “European Drug Report 2019: Trends and Developments”, launched by the European Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

    By the end of 2018, the EMCDDA monitored more than 730 NPS, 55 of which were detected for the first time in Europe in 2018. Moreover, in 2017, close to 64,160 NPS seizures were reported to the EU Early Warning System from across Europe. In Europe, NPS seizures are typically dominated by synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones, however the quantity of synthetic opioid and benzodiazepine seized appears to have increased in recent years.

    Globally, UNODC monitors close to 900 NPS through the UNODC Early Warning Advisory on NPS. NPS have emerged worldwide in 117 countries and territories.

    Source: EMCDDA: “European Drug Report 2019: Trends and Developments”

    For more information please see:
    EMCDDA report on “European Drug Report 2019: Trends and Developments”

  • PARIS, France – May 2019: OECD launched a report on Addressing Problematic Opioid Use in OECD Countries presenting evidence on the magnitude of problematic opioid use across OECD countries. In 25 OECD countries for which data are available, the average of opioid-related deaths has increased by more than 20% in 2011-2016, with the rise most pronounced in the United States, Canada, Estonia, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, and England & Wales. Furthermore, the report highlights the opioid crisis as a complex public health issue that requires a comprehensive approach across all sectors, including health, social services, and law enforcement and identifies a set of policy actions to address the main drivers of the crisis.

    Commissioned by Canada, the report was launched during a side event on the margins of the G7 meeting on May 16th in Paris. At the invitation of Canada and the OECD, UNODC was invited to speak as part of the opening panel on international efforts to address the opioid crisis. UNODC was represented by Mr. Justice Tettey, Chief of the Laboratory and Scientific Section, and Ms. Asma Fakhri, Coordinator of the UNODC Opioid Strategy, who introduced the UNODC Opioid Strategy and the UN Toolkit on Synthetic Drugs which provides a roadmap and practical tool to support countries to predict, prevent and protect in response to the opioid crisis.