2013 World Drug Report: UNODC warns against designer drugs

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has recently launched the World Drug Report 2013 presenting a comprehensive overview of the latest developments in drug markets, including production, trafficking, consumption and the related health consequences. The report warns against the sharp rise in the number of available designer drugs and, 'the adverse effects and addictive potential of most of these uncontrolled substances [which] are at best poorly understood'. This is particularly concerning as these drugs are legal in many places and are sold openly on the Internet without being tested for safety. The report also finds that the use of traditional drugs such as heroine and cocaine has declined in the EU and the US, but the use of prescription and new psychoactive substances is growing and is more than twice as widespread in the US, compared with the EU. (The United Kingdom, Poland and France reported highest rate of prescription and new psychoactive substances in the EU)