The UNODC Early Warning Advisory (EWA) on new psychoactive substances was launched in June 2013 as a response to the emergence of NPS at the global level. The EWA aims to monitor, analyse and report trends on NPS, as a basis for effective evidence-based policy responses. It also serves as a repository for information/data on these substances and a platform for providing technical assistance to Member States.


In its Resolution 56/4 (2013) titled "Enhancing international cooperation in the identification and reporting of new psychoactive substances" the Commission on Narcotic Drugs recognized the importance of sharing information on NPS at a global level. The Commission urged UNODC to continue facilitating timely and comprehensive sharing of information on NPS including analytical methodologies, reference documents, mass spectra and trend-analysis data. Consequently, the UNODC EWA was launched on the occasion of the World Drug Day on 26 June 2013.

The EWA is administered by the UNODC Global Synthetics Monitoring: Analyses, Reporting and Trends (SMART) programme. This programme seeks to improve the capacity of targeted Member States to generate, manage, analyze, report and use information on illicit synthetic drugs. The SMART programme operates from Vienna and has teams in Asia (Bangkok) and the Americas (Washington DC).

  The EWA targets three main clients: forensic drug laboratories, law enforcement authorities and policy makers/organizations. The EWA can provide a wide range of services to registered users including:

a. a reference point and platform for collating and coordinating existing information on NPS at the global level;

b. a knowledge provider to the international community in facilitating the understanding of NPS;

c. a real-time picture on the trans-boundary spread of NPS;

d. listings of new NPS, their emergence, and recent trends;

e. information on the different types of legislation in place through maps and tables, linking directly to specific country legislation;

f. regular updates on trend data;

g. bibliographic resources to inform Member States, organizations and the scientific community on methods available for the analysis and identification of NPS, selected articles on the toxicology/pharmacology of NPS;