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.
Consisting of five separate booklets, the World Drug Report 2022 provides an in-depth analysis of global drug markets and examines the nexus between drugs and the environment within the bigger picture of the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change and environmental sustainability.
Booklet 1 summarizes the four subsequent booklets by reviewing their key findings and highlighting policy implications based on their conclusions.
Booklet 2 provides an overview of the global demand for and supply of drugs, including an analysis of the relationship between illicit drug economies and situations of conflict and weak rule of law.
Booklet 3 reviews the latest trends in the global markets for opioids and cannabis at the global and regional levels, and includes a discussion of the potential impact of changes in opium poppy cultivation and opium production in Afghanistan, and an analysis of early indications of the impact of cannabis legalization on public health, public safety, market dynamics and criminal justice responses in selected jurisdictions.
Booklet 4 presents the latest trends in and estimates of the markets for various stimulants – cocaine, amphetamines and “ecstasy” – and new psychoactive substances, both at the global level and in the most affected subregions, including an analysis of different coca bush eradication strategies and a focus on the expansion of the methamphetamine market in South-West Asia.
Booklet 5 delves into the nexus between drugs and the environment, providing a comprehensive overview of the current state of research into the direct and indirect effects of illicit drug crop cultivation and drug manufacture, as well as drug policy responses on the environment.
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.
28-30 August 2019, Second Expert Working Group on improving drug statistics and strengthening the Annual Report Questionnaire (ARQ)
29-31 January 2018, Expert Working Group on Improving Drug Statistics and Strengthening the Annual Report Questionnaire (ARQ)