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World Drug Report, 2013

NCJ Number
Date Published
151 pages
This report presents a omprehensive overview of the latest developments in drug markets.
This report covers production, trafficking, consumption and related health consequences of traditional drugs and new psychoactive substances (NPSs). Findings show that, while the use of traditional drugs such as heroin and cocaine seems to be declining in some parts of the world, prescription drug abuse and NPS abuse is growing. The number of NPSs reported to UNODC rose from 166 at the end of 2009 to 251 by mid-2012, an increase of more than 50 percent, and for the first time, the number of NPSs exceeded the total number of substances under international control. These NPSs are legal and marketed as 'legal highs' and 'designer drugs'. Sold openly, including via the internet, NPSs have not been tested for safety and can be far more dangerous than traditional drugs. Given the almost infinite scope to alter the chemical structure of NPSs, new formulations are outpacing efforts to impose international control. While law enforcement lags behind, criminals have been quick to tap into this lucrative market. The adverse effects and addictive potential of most of these uncontrolled substances are at best poorly understood. In response to the proliferation of NPSs, UNODC has launched an early warning system which will allow the global community to monitor the emergence and take appropriate actions. Tables, figures, and appendixes