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World Drug Report 2013

image of World Drug Report 2013
The World Drug Report aims to improve understanding of the illicit drug problem and contribute to more international cooperation for countering it. The first chapter gives an overview of recent trends and the drug situation in terms of production, trafficking and consumption, and the consequences of illicit drug use in terms of treatment, drug-related diseases and drug-related deaths. The second chapter focuses on New Psychoactive Substances, i.e. psychoactive substances not under international control. It presents emerging trends in the composition, production and distribution, patterns of use and approaches taken by countries in response to the emergence of these substances.

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New psychoactive substances

The use of new psychoactive substances (NPS), i.e. psychoactive substances not under international control that pose a health threat, has grown rapidly over the past decade, in contrast to the prevalence rates for the use of internationally controlled drugs, which seem generally to have stabilized in the same time period. Producing and marketing such substances holds the promise of high profits without penalty. When brought under control in one country, production and/or the distribution centres of these substances are shifted to another country so that the sales - often conducted via the Internet - can continue. In other cases, the substances are modified slightly so that they are not covered by the respective country’s legislation. The number of NPS reported by Member States to UNODC rose from 166 at the end of 2009 to 251 by mid-2012. This exceeds the total number of psychoactive substances currently controlled by the international drug conventions (234 substances).

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