From the UNODC press release
In response to the rapidly-growing problem of synthetic drugs around the world, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) today launched a new strategy to support countries in addressing the situation on 19 November 2021.
The launch of the new strategy comes at a critical moment. The number of new psychoactive substances emerging on illicit drug markets has increased six-fold in the past decade and reached a record high of over 1,000 unique substances in 2020. Annual global seizures of amphetamine-type stimulants increased by 64 per cent in 2019, while opioid use disorder deaths have gone up by 71 per cent over the past decade.
Building on UNODC’s experience and lessons learned from the past years in dealing with the opioid crisis, the new Synthetic Drug Strategy will offer a balanced and comprehensive framework that is grounded in science.
A particular emphasis will be placed on evidence-based responses for women and youth, in recognition of the specific challenges they face.
The Strategy will focus on four “spheres of action”: multilateralism and international cooperation, early warning on emerging synthetic drug threats, science-informed health responses, and counternarcotic interventions.
Those challenges have been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences, as economic hardship and growing inequalities have pushed people towards dangerous coping mechanisms.
Women who use drugs also face specific difficulties, including a lack of availability of necessary gender-specific health and drug treatment services, barriers to accessing existing services, social stigma and the fear of possible legal sanctions in relation to drug use and/or losing the custody of children while in treatment.
Through science-informed processes, evidence, and knowledge, the new strategy will help policymakers to introduce effective policy directions and strategies to disrupt the manufacture and trafficking of synthetic drugs, and to provide access to treatment in different parts of the world.
To learn more about the UNODC Synthetic Drug Strategy, follow this link>>>.