UNODC research on drugs generates the sound knowledge needed to support evidence-based policies and programmes. Analysis of persistent and emerging challenges across the drug supply chain, from drug cultivation to trafficking and use, aims at strengthening responses to the drug problem at global, regional and national levels.
UNODC research activities on drugs dates back to the 1990s, when the 1997 World Drug Report, first of a long series, was published. The Report has become the flagship publication of the UNODC and its preparation, including the research activities it entails, embodies the large spectrum of issues that UNODC research on drugs covers.
For the first time since its conception, this year the World Drug Report consists of two products, a web-based element and a set of booklets. The latest global, regional and subregional estimates of and trends in drug demand and supply are presented in a user-friendly, interactive online segment. While Special points of interest include key takeaways and policy implications, booklet 1 takes the form of an executive summary based on analysis of the key findings of the online segment and the thematic booklet 2 and the conclusions that can be drawn from them. In addition to providing an in-depth analysis of key developments and emerging trends in selected drug markets, including in countries currently experiencing conflict, booklet 2 focuses on a number of other contemporary issues related to drugs.
UNODC provides evidence on the general situation and trends in the production of opiates, cocaine, amphetamine-type stimulants and cannabis at the global, regional and national levels.
To enhance knowledge and support countries in the collection of and reporting on data, UNODC works with Member States to monitor drug cultivation, production and manufacture, while collaboration with regional partners, intergovernmental organizations and academic institutions enhances monitoring capacities at national, regional and international levels.
UNODC monitors global and regional developments in drug trafficking based on regular reporting from Member States, the monitoring of open sources and first-hand information from structured interviews or similar exercises.
Research on drug trafficking provides an overall picture of the illicit markets, covering aspects such as trafficking routes and flows, latest trends and emerging patterns in trafficking and distribution, criminal actors involved and modi operandi employed.
UNODC monitors global and regional developments in the demand for drugs, including the non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs, through various channels and activities, including regular reporting from Member States, household surveys and targeted studies of vulnerable population groups.
Information from these sources is used to produce datasets but also analysed holistically to provide an overall picture of the many challenges the world faces in terms of drug use and health consequences, covering aspects such as trends in extent and patterns of drug use, risk behaviours, drug related morbidity and mortality and coverage of drug treatment for those suffering from drug use disorders.
UNODC regularly updates global statistical series on drugs, including on drug trafficking (drug seizures, drug prices, drug purity, drug-related arrests). These data are available at dataUNODC
Following an extensive review of the current data collection instrument on drugs, the Annual Report Questionnaire, the UNODC, in consultation with experts from the Member States and international organisations, is preparing a revised Annual Report Questionnaire, which will be implemented from 2021.