New drugs entering Europe at 'unprecedented pace'

May 11, 2011

New drugs are flooding the European market at an "unprecedented pace", the European drug monitoring centre and Europol warned in a joint report released in Portugal on Wednesday.

"New psychoactive substances are becoming widely available at an unprecedented pace," The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and (EMCDDA) and the EU's law enforcement agency said.

They noted that last year they were officially notified of 49 new drugs, a record number for a single year, via the EU early-warning system (EWS) on new psychoactive substances, up from 24 in 2009 and 13 the previous year.

The new substances include synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic cathinones, synthetic derivatives of well-established drugs, as well as one plant-based substance.

Under the so-called 'Spice' phenomenon, 11 new synthetic were picked up in 2010, bringing the total number of these substances monitored by the EWS up to 27.

As a result, at least 16 have taken legal action to ban or otherwise control 'Spice' products and related compounds.

In December, the EU also decided to ban the sale of the synthetic cathinone derivative, mephedrone, but 15 synthetic cathinone derivatives were detected in 2010, the report said.

In view of the large number of new unregulated synthetic compounds marketed on the Internet as legal highs', the report also highlighted EMCDDA's monitoring of online shops selling these substances.

"While our has recently upped its operational capacity to react rapidly to new substances and products identified, it currently lacks the ability to anticipate emerging threats," EMCDDA Director Wolfgang Götz said.

This, he added, could be done "by actively purchasing, synthesising and studying new compounds and by improving our capacity for investigative forensic analysis and research at European level".

The report, released ahead of the first international forum on new drugs opening here Wednesday, also warned that organised crime groups are increasingly active in producing and distributing drugs associated with ecstasy.

Explore further: FDA OKs Cubist antibiotic for serious infections

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

White House warns of 'bath salt' stimulants

Feb 02, 2011

President Barack Obama's drug czar warned Americans Tuesday about the growing threat of designer drugs marketed as "bath salts" that are in fact dangerous amphetamine-type stimulants.

Designer drugs on the rise: INCB

Mar 02, 2011

Designer drugs, modified to get around tight controls, are being produced in growing numbers and at an ever-faster pace, drugs monitoring agency INCB warned in its annual report Wednesday.

Marijuana ingredients show promise in battling superbugs

Sep 08, 2008

Substances in marijuana show promise for fighting deadly drug-resistant bacterial infections, including so-called "superbugs," without causing the drug's mood-altering effects, scientists in Italy and the United Kingdom are ...

Australia: Ecstasy loses its shine

May 10, 2011

Ecstasy, one of the most popular "recreational" drugs in Australia over the past two decades, is becoming less popular with regular users, consistent with global trends, say the authors of a new report from ...

Britain bans 'legal high' drugs

Dec 23, 2009

Britain banned several drugs known as "legal highs" Wednesday amid mounting public concern about their health risks.

Many mephedrone alternatives just as risky, warn experts

Jul 06, 2010

Since the recent ban on mephedrone, many so-called "legal substitutes" available on the internet are in fact banned cathinones (chemically related to amphetamines) and just as risky, warn experts in a letter to this week's ...

Recommended for you

FDA OKs Cubist antibiotic for serious infections

12 hours ago

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new medicine to fight complex infections in the abdomen and urinary tract, the fourth antibiotic the agency has approved since May.

Xtoro approved for swimmer's ear

Dec 18, 2014

(HealthDay)—Xtoro (finafloxacin otic suspension) eardrops have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat swimmer's ear, clinically known as acute otitis externa.

Drug interaction identified for ondansetron, tramadol

Dec 18, 2014

(HealthDay)—In the early postoperative period, ondansetron is associated with increased requirements for tramadol consumption, according to a review and meta-analysis published online Dec. 10 in Anaesthesia.

New system targets germs in donated blood plasma

Dec 17, 2014

(HealthDay)—A new system designed to eliminate germs in donated blood plasma and reduce the risk of transmitting a plasma-borne infection has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.