The demand for synthetic drugs in East and Southeast Asia and Oceania continues to rise, while rapid economic integration is creating new opportunities for transnational criminal groups to expand the illicit drug trade, warns the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in this report released by the Global Synthetics Monitoring: Analyses, Reporting and Trends (SMART) Programme.
This report analyses recent trends and developments of the synthetic drugs market in the region, comprising both amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and new psychoactive substances (NPS), which are designed to mimic the effects of substances under international control. The report also highlights the harmful impact of the illicit trade in synthetic drugs on development and the evolving challenges for governments in their efforts to respond to the threat.
East and Southeast Asia and Oceania is one of the world's largest synthetic drug markets, and is dominated by methamphetamine in crystalline or ice and tablet (referred to as yaba or yama locally) forms. The illegal synthetic drug trade in the region is also expanding and diversifying with increasing availability of NPS. Moreover, the availability of precursor chemicals in the region increases the risk of diversion for methamphetamine production.