In April 2016, a United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) was held to discuss the global drug problem. In the wake of the special session, the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) released the World Drug Report 2016 which discusses in detail use and trade of drugs in various countries and what repercussions it has on the people of those countries.
One of the highlights of the report is the increasing prevalence of new psychoactive substances in the world. New psychoactive substances or NPS are drugs that are illegally made and specially designed to imitate established illegal drugs such a cocaine, cannabis, ecstasy and LSD.
These drugs have triggered severe hospitalisation and unexplained suicides, according to another report by the UNODC. The use and production of these drugs has increased every consecutive year.
According to the report, in India, anywhere between 2-25 such drugs have been reported between 2008 and 2015.
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India, however, ranks much lower as compared to US, Canada, and Russia where the number of such drugs is anywhere between 101-274. Australia comes a close second with 51-100 such drugs followed by China and North America where the numbers are between 25-50.
“Seizure reports indicate that NPS are frequently sold in various compositions in a combination of different compounds…Over the past few years, various countries in Europe and South-East Asia have reported seizures of “ecstasy” tablets containing mainly a blend of non-controlled substances, including NPS, and little or no MDMA. However, recent seizure reports show that packaged NPS products contained mixtures of a variety of NPS compounds,” the report says.
A growing number of NPS is reported every year by a large number of countries and territories throughout the world.