World Drug Report 2024

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released the World Drug Report on the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

A global reference on drug markets, trends and policy developments, the World Drug Report offers a wealth of data and analysis and in 2024 comprises several elements tailored to different audiences. The web-based Drug market patterns and trends module contains the latest analysis of global, regional and subregional estimates of and trends in drug demand and supply in a user-friendly, interactive format supported by graphs, infographics and maps. The Key findings and conclusions booklet provides an overview of selected findings from the analysis presented in the Drug market patterns and trends module and the thematic Contemporary issues on drugs booklet, while the Special points of interest fascicle offers a framework for the main takeaways and policy implications that can be drawn from those findings.


As well as providing an in-depth analysis of key developments and emerging trends in selected drug markets, the Contemporary issues on drugs booklet looks at several other developments of policy relevance. The booklet opens with a look at the 2022 Taliban ban on the cultivation and production of and trafficking in drugs in Afghanistan and its implications both within the country and in transit and destination markets elsewhere. This is followed by a chapter examining the convergence of drug trafficking and other activities and how they affect natural ecosystems and communities in the Golden Triangle in South-East Asia. The chapter also assesses the extent to which drug production and trafficking are linked with other illicit economies that challenge the rule of law and fuel conflict. Another chapter analyses how the dynamics of demand for and supply of synthetic drugs vary when the gender and age of market participants are considered. The booklet continues with an update on regulatory approaches to and the impact of legalization on the non-medical cannabis market in different countries, and a review of the enabling environment that provides broad access to the unsupervised, “quasi-therapeutic” and non-medical use of psychedelic substances. Finally, the booklet offers a multi-dimensional framework on the right to health in the context of drug use; these dimensions include availability, accessibility, acceptability, quality, non-discrimination, non-stigmatization and participation.

The World Drug Report 2024 is aimed not only at fostering greater international cooperation to counter the impact of the world drug problem on health, governance and security, but also at assisting Member States in anticipating and addressing threats posed by drug markets and mitigating their consequences.

Key highlights of the report include:

  • Rise in drug abuse: In the decade to 2022, the number of people using illicit drugs increased to 292 million.
  • Most abused drugs: Cannabis followed by opioids, amphetamines, cocaine, and ecstasy.
  • Most affected regions:Criminal activity and trafficking are common in remote regions with multiple borders and limited governance such as:
    • Triple Frontier area (Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay) and Golden Triangle (Laos Myanmar and Thailand).
  • Cannabis legalisation: Cannabis was legalised across Canada, Uruguay, and 27 jurisdictions in the US.
    • THC (delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is believed to be the main ingredient behind the psychoactive effect of the drug.
  • Environmental fallout: Illegal drug-related activities contribute to deforestation, toxic waste dumping, and chemical contamination.

To access the World Drug Report, following this link>>>.


A webinar on the World Drug Report 2023 for civil society

From the UNODC website

UNDOC’s World Drug Report is a crucial annual publication that provides member states and civil society with up-to-date and comprehensive information on global drug trends, patterns of drug use, and emerging substances. The knowledge equips civil society organizations worldwide with a solid understanding of the current landscape, empowering them to effectively educate their communities, advocate for evidence-based policies, and implement effective interventions, working towards a healthier and safer society.

The UNODC Civil Society Unit (CSU) and the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC) jointly organized a webinar for civil society on 20 July 2023, presenting the key findings of this year’s World Drug Report. The webinar provided a spotlight on the latest global and regional trends. Simultaneous interpretation in English, Russian, Spanish and French allowed participants to discuss the latest data with the authors of the 2023 World Drug Report.

Ms. Chloe Carpentier, Chief of UNODC Drugs Research Section, and Mr. Thomas Pietschmann, Research Officer, provided an overview of the latest developments in the World Drug Report 2023, published on 26 June. They also introduced the new interactive online segment which enables easy access to the available data and allows users to extract graphs and maps as required.

This year’s report emphasizes, among other, that a growing number of people worldwide suffer from drug use disorders, 296 million in 2021. This is often exacerbated by the increasing proliferation of cheap synthetic drugs and illicit drug economies that flourish in situation of conflicts. Partnerships are key to reduce the adverse health and social consequences of drug abuse and civil society has an open role to play, often having better access to key populations on the ground.

During the Webinar, two civil society experts also shared their insights and experiences on some of the issues highlighted in the World Drug Report. Professor John Toumbourou from the Dalgarno Institute in Australia discussed prevention and treatment of drug use disorders. He highlighted the success of abstinence-based programs and policies in reducing school-age alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use. Australia’s approach focused on prevention may serve as a positive example in addressing drug-related issues among youth. Focusing on the Amazon region in South America, Rebeca Marques Rocha, representing Youth RISE, stressed the importance of investing in health and education, and offering employment opportunities for young people and indigenous groups in order to more effectively tackle organized crime, including drug trafficking, in the region.

With more than 350 attendees from over 80 countries engaging in a lively questions and answers section, the webinar reflected the enormous interest in up-to-date, reliable data on drug related matters among civil society organizations.


Further Information:

World Drug Report 2023

NGO Marketplace

Recording of the Webinar


Quality Assurance for Drug Use Disorder Treatment Systems

The Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section (PRTS) of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), with the support fom the Ministry of Health of Serbia, organised a three-day Training on Quality Assurance for Drug Use Disorder Treatment Systems. The aim of this training was to help stakeholders to review national drug use disorder treatment systems, identify gaps and develop plans that will enable the improvement and further development of the national treatment system.

25 participants came from specialised hospitals for treating addictions of pcychiatric hospitals from around the country, institute for public health, institute for mental health, centres for social work and ministry of health. DPNSEE Executive Director Milutin Milošević and representative from Izlazak represented the civil society organisations.

The program of the training was developed following the International standards for the treatment of drug use disorders, prepared by UNODC and the World Health Organisation. A translated version of the Standards was presented and shared during the training.

Trainers Victor Anthony Capoccia (USA) and Thomas Clausen (Norway) were supported by UNODC staff Christina Gamboa-Riano and Žana Glavendekić, Project Officer, UNODC South-Eastern Europe.

Zhannat retired!

UNODC Officer Zhannat Kosmukhamedova, Regional Adviser for Eastern Europe&Central Asia on Drugs/HIV, Law Enforcement and HIV FP, retired today after many years of dedicated work!

DPNSEE extends our most sincere appreciation for cooperation and support we got from Zhannat. Thank you and wishing you a retirement filled with happiness.

Zhannat with her UNODC team

Information materials for refugees, humanitarian workers and health-care workers

As part of the UNODC-led project “Emergency support for the provision of HIV and Harm Reduction services among key populations in Ukraine and refugees in selected neighbouring countries“, DPNSEE collected information of relevance about health services and drugs for the refugees from Ukraine and displaced persons from Russia.

All important stakeholders participated in commenting on the draft and provided information from their field of work: ministries of health and interior, commissariat for refugees, institute for public health, office for combating drugs, UNHCR and a civil society organisations working with refugees. This was very important because it would have ensured that the information was accepted and later distributed by all.

Two clear, reliable, and trustworthy information documents are prepared:

  • General information for refugees and displaced persons in the Republic of Serbia, including information about Refugees in the Republic of Serbia, Temporary residence in the Republic of Serbia, and Where else to get more information and support?
  • Information for people living with HIV and populations at increased risk of HIV, including General information about the health care of refugees and displaced persons, Information for people living with HIV, Information for people who use drugs, Information for people from the LGBTI+ population, Information for sex workers, Groceries, other daily necessities and other available services and contacts of the civil society organizations in Serbia that provide support

The documents were translated into four languages: Ukrainian, Russian, Serbian and English. With a specific layout, they were published on the DPNSEE website at the following address:


A quiet CND

The 66th session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) was held between 13th and 17th March in hybrid format with much broader in-person participation than in the past two years. Chaired by the Colombian Ambassador Miguel Camino Ruiz Blanco, it was also the first ever CND session that was recorded on UN Web TV. Positively, a wide number of civil society organisations attended, with 135 NGOs registered, and more than 570 NGO participants following the debates both online and in person.

In a way, the CND was quiet and without many sparkles, but some statements indicate that the next one will be very intense.

As in previous years, the session was marked by ongoing clashes between more progressive member states, and those that continue to promote a war on drugs approach, resulting in new tensions and contradictions hampering the so-called ‘Vienna consensus’. This was clearly felt during the fractious negotiations of the 5 draft resolutions tabled for this CND session.

For the first time in recent history, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk addressed the CND, which is an important historical development in itself. Recognising that ‘if drugs destroy lives, the same can also be true of drug policies’, Mr. Türk called for ‘transformative change’ in the global approach to drugs.

The call for change was explicitly echoed by Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health. After restating the known fact that criminalisation aggravates stigma and discrimination against people who use drugs, the Special Rapporteur urged States to ‘End prohibition, decriminalize drug use or the possession, purchase, or cultivation of drugs for personal use and other related activities; and introduce appropriate regulations’. Other clear and open challenges to the global drug control regime were voiced by Member States.

But if the 66th CND session witnessed some open challenges to the UN drug control regime, the status quo stroke back. At least 14 countries took the floor to express concern over the legal regulation of cannabis and the resulting contravention of the UN drug conventions. In contrast with

It was another record-breaking year for side events at this year’s CND, with 155 taking place in total, up 21 from last year. In contrast to last year, where side events remained entirely online, the 66th session saw the majority of its side events take place in-person or in a hybrid setting. Only 20 side events took place solely in an ‘online setting’, which meant that in-person attendance for events was extremely high, including from UN diplomats.

DPNSEE President Nebojša Djurasović, Board Member Marios Atzemis, Executive Director Milutin Milošević and several other member organisations’ representatives participated in the event. For the first time, DPNSSE participated in the meeting in full capacity as an ECOSOC-accredited NGO.

In addition to very useful meetings with UNODC representatives, especially Ms. Fariba Soltani and Gorica Popović (including sharing about the implementation of the project for refugees from Ukraine) and colleagues from the Rome Consensus 2.0 (Marios spoke at their side event “A global call for deflection: as the new policy on policing and drugs”), Milutin participated in events organised by the EU Civil Society Forum on Drugs.


Visit to the Duga Checkpoint centre

Representatives of the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Ms Fariba Soltani, Chief, HIV/AIDS Section and Global Coordinator for HIV/AIDS, Ms. Gorica Popović, Specialist, Law Enforcement and HIV and Ms Žana Glavendekić, the Regional Project Officer for Drug Demand Reduction visited the Duga Checkpoint centre in Belgrade and met with community-led organizations working on HIV and harm reduction services for key populations.

It was an opportunity to share about services which Prevent, TOC, Duga and ReGeneration provide and to discuss operational issues related to implementation of the UNODC-led project “Emergency support for the provision of HIV and Harm Reduction services among key populations in Ukraine and refugees in selected neighbouring countries”.

A dialogue on national drug strategies

Following the previous South East Europe government – civil society dialogues on drugs, held in 2018 and 2020, the Drug Policy Network South East Europe organised a very successful Regional round table focused on community-led consultative process on the importance of human rights and evidence-based national drug strategies in HIV response.

The Round table was held in scope of the UNODC-led project for implementation of the “Emergency support for the provision of HIV and Harm Reduction services among key populations in Ukraine and refugees in selected neighbouring countries.” The primary objectives of the project are to ensure the continuity of the HIV prevention, treatment and care (including OAT and ARV) services for people who use drugs/live with HIV, especially community-based care and support for people who use drugs, people living with HIV and other key populations.

The aim of the event was mobilising civil society, service providers, policymakers and other national stakeholders from the Western Balkan region to ensure wide and all-involving drug strategy development process, with the focus on evidence and human rights-based drug strategies which prioritise health-related needs and resources.

The Regional round table was held on 21 February 2023 in Belgrade. The Office for Combating Drugs of the Government of Serbia supported the event ensuring that it is held in the Palace of Serbia.

A record 58 participants came from across of the region, including civil society, service providers, policymakers and other national stakeholders. Representatives of UN Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC), European Drug Agency (EMCDDA) and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria joined.

The agenda of the event included presentations of the UNODC project and work around key populations at the global level, the ongoing refugee situation in Serbia and Montenegro, as well as national responses to humanitarian refugee crisis and changing drug situation in countries of the region. In addition, the Round table offered a platform for discussion on with the focus on identifying needs of different stakeholders, especially key affected populations, analysing the national HIV/harm reduction response, key challenges and priorities, the role of the civil society, funding, monitoring, evaluation and impacts assessment.

Presentations from the Regional round table are available following this link>>>.

Bellow is the recording of the Regional round table.


Needs assessment

Our member organisation Re Generation will implement the research study ‘’The needs assessment among Ukrainian refugees and Russian migrants in the Republic of Serbia on access to services and new psychoactive substances/stimulant use’’. The survey is part of the “Emergency support for the provision of HIV and Harm Reduction services among key populations in Ukraine and refugees in selected neighbouring countries” project funded by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

This research study aims to estimate the level of new psychoactive substances/stimulants used among Ukrainian refugees and Russian migrants as well as understand what the Republic of Serbia should do in the future to ensure that the Ukrainian refugees and Russian migrants have access to services that will improve their social and health status in the humanitarian settings.

If you are a Ukrainian refugee or Russian migrant in the Republic of Serbia, please see the s urvey, more information, and consent form in English here>>>.

Please remember the following:

  • Participation in this research is voluntary, confidential and free,
  • You do not have to decide today whether or not you will participate in the research,
  • Before you decide, you can talk to anyone you feel comfortable with about the research.


CSFD – UNODC cooperation

DPNSEE Executive Director Milutin Milošević, member of the EU Civil Society Forum on Drugs Core Group, joined the meeting between the CSFD Working Group 2 and UNODC Brussels Liaison Office. The meeting was scheduled to discuss cooperation on the issues of interest discussed by the European Union related to drugs.

Milutin presented the priorities and work of the Working Group 4 he is chairing. He also pointed the need to advocate for more balanced approach to accession processes for the EU candidate countries, which is currently almost exclusive addressing splly reduction measures.

The two sides agreed in preparing a joint advocacy event in the occassion of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 26 June.