Latest news on synthetic drugs - September 2018

September 2018 – UNODC: Synthetic drug market continues to evolve in East and South-East Asia

Chiang Rai, Thailand – September 2018: Synthetic drug experts from the ASEAN group of states, Australia, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Timor Leste, the United States as well as the World Customs Organization (WCO) Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices for Asia/Pacific (RILO/AP) gathered in Chiang Rai, Thailand, for the 10th regional SMART workshop for East and South-East Asia. The workshop once again confirmed the growing seizure amount of methamphetamine in the region, pointing to the persistent expansion of the drug market. In addition, several new developments in the regional synthetic drug market were observed during the workshop, such as strong indications of a geographical shift of some large scale methamphetamine manufacture and newly identified new psychoactive substances, including synthetic opioids. The UNODC SMART Programme also organized a field visit to Wan Pong port of Myanmar, located along the Mekong River, and a briefing from the Safe Mekong Coordination Center (SMCC) for participants to learn increasing illicit flows of synthetic drugs and related precursor chemicals coming out of the Golden Triangle. The workshop was organized in partnership with the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), Thailand.

For more information, please see:

UNODC “World Drug Report 2018”


September 2018 – UNODC-SMART: Health harms caused by growing methamphetamine market might be greatly underestimated - SMART Update 20

VIENNA, Austria – September 2018: The current issue provides insight into the dynamics of the rapidly expanding methamphetamine market by analysing the key trends and drivers of the methamphetamine market. From a market when manufacture was concentrated in specific subregions, it has evolved to a market with global trafficking flows and global seizure quantities growing more than 6 times since 2008. Despite an increasing number of reports on harms and deaths relating to methamphetamine use, the extent of the threat might nevertheless be greatly underestimated. Methamphetamine is often used in combination with other substances, which poses a significant challenge in determining the spread of methamphetamine use and in associating methamphetamine use to treatment cases and fatalities.

For more information, please see:

Global SMART Update Volume 20 “Methamphetamine continues to dominate synthetic drug markets

UNODC Report “Global Synthetic Drugs Assessment”