Category: News


On 6th and 7th December 2016 the INTERPOL General Secretariat has organised the JOINT INTERNATIONAL MEETING ON DRUG TRAFFICKING AND NPS ONLINE MARKETS, jointly with the EPS/NPS Project – Enhancing Police Skills concerning Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS), led by the Research Centre on Security and Crime (RiSSC).

More than 80 people attended the event representing almost all the EU Countries. There were also attendees from Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Russia, the Republic of Moldova, Qatar and Belarus.

A group of highly skilled, drug-isssue experts spoke about the NPS trafficking phenomena from their diverse perspectives: LEAs, prosecutors, legal experts, investigators, researchers and representatives from international organizations.

INTERPOL,EMCDDA, EUROPOL, UNODC, EuroJust, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Pompidou Group, Arma dei Carabinieri (IT), National Crime Agency (UK), University of Copenaghen, University of Hertdfordshire (UK), University of Eotvos (HU), Global Drug Survey (UK), National Research Centre (IT) contributed actively to the discussion enriching the topic and sharing important piece of knowledge in fighting back against drug trafficking.

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The meeting was organised following this structure:

Presentation and description of the NPS market. A description of the new psychoactive substances emerging in the market has been introduced, description of the new trend in consumption and description of the users market- demand side. A specific session has been dedicated to the presentation of the results achieved by the EPS/NPS project dealing with the following aspects of the market:
• Definition and specific characteristics of the psychoactive substances
• Peculiarities of the NPS trafficking, routes and supply chain, also with respect to traditional illegal drugs
• Role of organised crime and main (criminal) subjects involved
• Role of the Internet, with specific regards to the Deep Web/Darknets and the relationship between Surface and Deep Web/Darknets
• Demand of NPS and interdependencies between demand and supply

Then, a specific session was dedicated to the legal, enforcement and forensic issues along with the challenges facing us and the and good practices that have been introduced. Europol, Eurojust, DEA and University of Copenaghen (presenting the ENFSI network) provided the audience with a highly professional presentations about practices and tools to be used to combat the phenomenon.

In the end some tools to operatively fight back against NPS trafficking have been introduced by University of Herdtfordshire and by the UNODC. Among them the EPS/NPS project presented the “Cooperation Platform” which is currently a proof-of-concept with high possibilities to be translated into an operative tool to support LEAs and promoting cooperation through knowledge generation and information sharing.

The aim of the meeting was to create synergies at international level, give visibility to the best practices implemented so far, developing knowledge generation and promoting information sharing among LEAs, researchers and international organisations.

All those who wish to access to the conference materials can contact

A report describing main points and results from the conference will be available on the project web site in January 2017.


“Novel psychoactive substances/NPS; clinical, pharmacological, analytical chemistry, toxicity, legislative, and criminological issues” 

You may be pleased to know that, as part of the European Commission-funded “Enhancing Police Skills concerning Novel Psychoactive Substances (EPS/NPS)” project Meeting, the Psychopharmacology, Drug Misuse and Novel Psychoactive Substances Research Unit, within the Department of Pharmacy, Postgraduate Medicine and Pharmacology has organised a conference being held at the Fielder Centre, Hatfield, UK on 16 November 2016.


The one-day conference has the theme: “Novel psychoactive substances/NPS; clinical, pharmacological, analytical chemistry, toxicity, legislative, and criminological issues”

There will be a number of speakers from partner organisations in the EPS/NPS project as well as European experts in relevant fields.

Click here for the current programme

Surveys about Nps by University of Hertfordshire students

Two Master of Pharmacy students at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, are working on their Master’s thesis under the supervision of one of our UK Partners.

They are investigating the different user of the kratom and hydrangea plants and its products and why individuals they use them.

In order to get as wide an understanding as possible we would like to invite any visitors to this website or others interested in these plants to take part in the surveys, by clicking on the appropriate link.


Survey on the use and abuse of Kratom


Survey on the use and abuse of Hydrangea


Ethics approval has been given by the Ethics Committee of the Health & Human Science Research Institute, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK (November 2013; PAE/10-42(2)-Recreational Drugs’ European Network: an ICT prevention service addressing the use of novel compound in vulnerable individuals). All answers are anonymous and will only be accessed by the researchers and their supervisor, John Corkery

Joint International Meeting on Drug Trafficking and NPS online market

INTERPOL and RiSSC (Research Centre on Security and Crime) are pleased to announce that the Joint International Meeting on Drug Trafficking and NPS online market will be taking place at the INTERPOL General Secretariat in Lyon on the 6-7 December 2016. 

The meeting will take place within the framework of the EPS/NPS Project – Enhancing Police Skills concerning Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS), a transnational project started in 2015 coordinated by RiSSC (  

This is the first meeting fully dedicated to this specific crime area organized by the INTERPOL General Secretariat, which will give experts and representatives from member countries in Europe, partner organizations, and the academia the opportunity to share their experiences in terms of cooperation in investigation matters and legal proceedings.    

Representatives of law enforcements will make up the core groups of participants along with academics, universities and NGOs. 

If required, the EPS/NPS project may cover the costs of travel and accommodation for the duration of the event for a limited number of participants. 

Thank you for registering by 10 November 2016 at the following link: ” 

Budapest Group recommendations at UNGASS 2016

At the beginning of 2016 the Budapest Group released Recommendations on EU Engagement at 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs

“The priority message of the Budapest Group is that civil society organizations must have a central role in the UNGASS deliberations, and that marginalized groups disproportionately impacted by drug policies, including women, youth, ethnic minorities and drug crop cultivators must be engaged in deliberations on, and the design, evaluation and monitoring of drug policies,” <br>explained SPP Associate Dean Julia Buxton.

The Budapest Group is a network of European NGOs working in the field of drug policy reform, including Harm Reduction International, the Global Drug Policy Program of the Open Society Foundations (OSF), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Transform Drug Policy Foundation, the International Drug Policy Consortium, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, and the Transnational Institute.

The text released from the Budapest Group is entitled: A call for EU leadership on drug policy: Principles and recommendations from EU civil society[1]for EU engagement at the 2016 UNGASS on drugs.

In the document is stated: “Member  states

should  advocate  for drug  policy evaluation  and metrics  that  relate directly to  the  key  pillars  of  the UN: human development, peace and security, and human rights, and recommend strategies,  metrics  and  approaches  that  are  informed  by  the  five  thematic  areas of the UNGASS.”

Commission on Narcotic Drugs decision on international control of acetylfentanyl and MT-45 enters into force

UNODC Early Warning System announced, on 17th May 2016, that the Commission on Narcotic Drugs – in its 59th Session from 16 to 22 March 2016 – decided that acetylfentanyl (Schedule I and IV) and MT-45 (Schedule I) will be added to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, as amended by the 1972 Protocol.

For more information check the links below:

June 26th – International Day against Drug Abuse and illicit trafficking

The theme of this important day has been entitled: “Listen First”. It is a new acampaign and an initiative to increase support for prevention of drug use. It is an effective investment in the well-being of children and youth, and therefore families and communities. The basic message is simple: listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.

To know more on the campaign:

“On this International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, I call on countries and communities to continue to improve the lives of everyone blighted by drug abuse by integrating security and public safety with a heightened focus on health, human rights, and sustainable development.”
UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

2016 EU Drug Markets Report: In-depth Analysis

The 2016 EU Drug Markets Report provides an in-depth analysis and a unique insight into the illicit drug markets in the EU.

What can you find in the report?

  • An assessment of the impact of the drug market on society;
  • An exploration of the market for cannabis, heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, MDMA and new psychoactive substances;
  • The analysis of these hidden markets and the actors involved.

In the report the analytical power of the EMCDDA is combined with Europol’s operational intelligence. Drug markets are more and more dynamic, interlinked and connected to many of other critical policy issues in Europe. The report helps to address information needs and prove a state-of-the-art review.

EMCDDA Drug report 2016

EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) released the European Drug Report for 2016. The report investigates recent trends and development in drugs’ market and consume.

The highlighted topics are:

  • health risks of high-potency products;
  • emergence of new substances;
  • changing patterns of drug use;
  • overdose deaths in some countries
  • threats posed by internet drug markets.

It expresses the need for Europe to embrace a broader and more complicated set of policy issues