The synthetic drug problem has become grave in the recent years and has evolved into a significant human security threat in East and Southeast Asia. East and Southeast Asia is one of the largest synthetic drug market in the world, and its scope continues to expand.

Seizures of amphetamine type stimulants (ATS), such as methamphetamine and ecstasy, in East Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania, have grown from 12 tons in 2008 to about 48 tons in 2013, indicative of the growing problem posed by ATS. Additionally, this region contains the largest number of ATS users (excluding ecstasy) worldwide, at 9.5 million users, as well as the largest number of "ecstasy" users at 3.9 million.

With rapid economic growth and accelerating regional integration, law enforcement authorities, in spite of improved cross-border coordination and cooperation, generally lag behind organized criminal groups that relentlessly traffic drugs across borders in the region. The response to the ATS problem so far in the region has also been constrained due to the disparate levels of capacities and the limited data and information availability.

The Global SMART Programme, aims to address these very needs through enhancing the capacity of Member States and authorities in priority regions. It aims to do so by assisting Member States to generate, manage, analyse and report synthetic drugs information, and to apply this scientific evidence-based knowledge to design policies and programmes.

For more information on ATS visit our resources page.