World Drug Report chapters on synthetic drug emerging issues


The proposed initiative aims at producing a series of chapters on synthetic drugs in the World Drug Report (WDR), the annual flagship publication of the UN on drugs. Following up on the chapter published in WDR 2023 on the synthetic drugs phenomenon, which looked at cross sectional issues in relation to synthetic drug production, trafficking and markets, the series will focus on emerging threats in synthetic drug demand and supply dynamics across the world. Each edition could for example include an analysis of emerging threats and impacts in a specific region and/or have a topical focus.

Accomplishments to Date

In addition to data officially submitted by Member States to UNODC, a comprehensive review of the literature, both scientific (published in peer-reviewed academic journals) and grey (national reports and other accessible publications), and other available data will form the basis of the review of knowledge available on synthetic drugs threats in all global regions and at sub-regional and national level, and will be used to guide and structure the mobilization of additional data, including through field work and interviews with key informants. Central to the development of some of the chapters will be original research conducted through a series of case studies that will support deeper thematic and contextual understanding of the impact of synthetic drugs, including the way certain states or jurisdictions are facing particular challenges.

Project Activities

Maintain a shared knowledge base among all countries of the threats posed by synthetic drugs in view of developing shared responses. 
Latest global knowledge and information on synthetic drug threats made available to a wide range of audiences with a view to keep the issue of synthetic drugs high on the drug debate, support evidence-based policy and priority setting at both national and international levels and provide guidance for an international cooperation of maximum efficiency.

Global Level Outcomes

Improved understanding of global, regional and sub-regional synthetic drug threats that can affect with a view to support single countries and influence national policy making and priority setting and to better anticipate effective responses. 

National Level Outcomes

The WDR is an output from UNODC, based on the analysis of data from all Member States. It is widely used by countries in their national strategies and by the international community in identifying priorities.


Ms. Chloé Carpentier, UNODC, chloe [dot] carpentier [at] un [dot] org (chloe[dot]carpentier[at]un[dot]org)