Latest news on synthetic drugs - June 2019

June 2019 – UNODC: World Drug Report 2019: Seizures of synthetic NPS may be stabilizing

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


June 2019 – UNODC-SMART: Synthetic opioid and female tranquilizer use in Latin America and the Caribbean discussed in new Global SMART Newsletter

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.


June 2019 – UNODC: Commission on Narcotic Drugs decision on international control of four fentanyl analogues enters into force

The decision adopted by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs during its 62nd Session from 18 to 22 March 2019 to add Cyclopropylfentanyl, Methoxyacetylfentanyl, Orthofluorofentanyl (2-Fluorofentanyl) and Parafluorobutyrylfentanyl (4-Fluorobutyrfentanyl) to Schedule 1 of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, was communicated by the Secretary-General on 23rd of May 2019 to all States Members of the United Nations, to non-member States Parties to the Conventions, to the World Health Organization and to the International Narcotics Control Board and thereby entered into force on that date.

For further information please see:
EWA newsclip on nine substances and three precursors “scheduled” at the 62nd Session of the Commission on Narcotic drugs
EWA newsclip on WHO recommendation of 9 NPS for scheduling
CND International Drug Conventions