CICAD: Inter-American Observatory on Drugs (OID)

SMART Programme


UNODC and CICAD partner to deepen understanding of synthetic drugs trafficking in the region

Equipment for a clandestine meth lab

The production, trafficking and use of synthetic drugs are an emerging problem around the world. The United Nationals Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has developed the Global Synthetic Drugs Monitoring Programme (Global Synthetics Monitoring: Analyses, Reporting and Trends, known as the SMART Programme) as a response to close the information gap that exists in the world regarding amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS). The SMART Programme began its work focusing on Southeast Asia in September 2008, and expanded its information gathering efforts to the Americas in 2011.

In 2011, the UNODC seconded to the CICAD Executive Secretariat offices in Washington a professional to work on the Latin American component of the SMART Programme. The specialist is working with CICAD member states to improve their capacity to gather, analyze and share information on ATS products, their use, and their trafficking routes.

The challenge of new psychoactive substances

In recent years, the market for amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) has been  characterized by the appearance of several new substances, which often have chemical and/or pharmacological properties similar to internationally controlled substances. Their variety has never been as great as it is now.

 What are NPS? New psychoactive substances (NPS) have been known in the market by  terms such as ‘designer drugs’, ‘legal highs’, ‘herbal highs’, ‘bath salts’, ‘research chemicals’, ‘laboratory reagents’. To promote clear terminology on this issue, UNODC only uses the term “new psychoactive substances (NPS)” which are defined as “substances of abuse, either in a pure form or a preparation, that are not controlled by the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs or the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, but which may pose a public health threat”. The term ‘new’ does not necessarily refer to new inventions -several NPS were first synthesized 40 years ago-- but to substances that have recently emerged on the market and which have not been scheduled under the above Conventions.

Basic Information

2 C-B and NPS in South America

New Psychoactive Substances (PDF 42.2kb)

Amphetamine-Type Stimulants in Latin America: Preliminary assessment report 2011 (PDF, 38 pp, 524 kb)

First International Multidisciplinary Forum on New Drugs. Summary Report (PDF, 15pp., 388 kb), European Monitoring Center on Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), Lisbon, Portugal

The Global SMART Programme: Synthetics Monitoring: Analysis, Reporting and Trends -- The situation of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) (PDF, 924 kb ) is presentation made at the 48th regular session of CICAD in Paramaribo, Suriname in May 2011. 

A Radio Nederland report (audio, in Dutch and Spanish) following CICAD 49 meeting in Suriname (May 2011).

For more information, please contact Juan Carlos Araneda, SMART Programme coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean at CICAD at E-mail address.

UNODC Information


  • 2016 Bulletin No. 1


2016 - Terminology and Information on Drugs

2016 - NPS Poster

2016 - NPS Leaflet: New Psychoactive Substances

2015 - The Challenge of Synthetic Drugs in East and South-East Asia and Oceania - Trends and Patterns of Amphetamine-type Stimulants and New Psychoactive Substances

2014 - Global Synthetic Drugs Assessment - Amphetamine Type Substances and new psychoactive substances

2014 - Amphetamine-Type Stimulants in Latin America

Global SMART Update

  • 2016 Volume 15

  • 2015 Volume 14

  • 2015 Volume 13

  • 2014 Volume 12

  • 2014 Volume 11

  • 2013 Volume 10

  • 2013 Volume 9

  • 2012 Volume 8

  • 2012 Volume 7

  • 2011 Volume 6

  • 2011 Volume 5

  • 2010 Volume 4

  • 2010 Volume 3

updated on 6/22/2016 4:35:39 PM