CICAD: Supply Reduction


CICAD: Supply Reduction


CICAD: Supply Reduction


CICAD: Supply Reduction

Strategic Partners


The illicit production and trafficking of synthetic drugs including New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) is a growing global problem with serious health and security implications for countries in the region.  Also, locally acquired chemical precursors are increasingly diverted from legitimate purposes and used in clandestine drug laboratories to manufacture a growing amount of illicit synthetic drugs closer to consumer markets. 

The speed with which synthetic drugs and NPS appear in the market present challenges to those amending drug control schedules, as the new substances are frequently not listed in the schedules of international conventions or national legislation or regulations and, as such, they are marketed and sold as "legal" drugs.

Also, criminal networks are rapidly adapting to new technologies.  The anonymity and global reach of the "darknet" and "deepweb" provide traffickers with ideal conditions to reach a wider consumer market.  As such, commercialization and trafficking of illicit drugs through the internet is another growing challenge, along with the use of cryptocurrencies to purchase them online. However, while most attention is focused on darknet markets, it is also apparent that social media platforms and the "surface web" may play an equally important role.  Those illicit drugs are then distributed to final consumers through private and public postal services.  

Given the many challenges mentioned above, CICAD supports OAS member states to have in place the necessary policy, legislative, and regulatory frameworks and the administrative control mechanisms to meet the challenges presented by the diversion, illicit production and trafficking of these substances.  As such, the Unit supports OAS member states to enhance their legal frameworks to better comply with international standards; to facilitate informed scheduling decisions; and to enhance cooperation in the identification and reporting of NPS, and other synthetic drugs. 

Also, the SRU supports law enforcement agencies and forensic personnel to improve their capacity to investigate, identify, and control synthetic drugs and the diversion of precursor chemicals both at national and regional levels; equipping them with the skills to effectively and safely counter drug production and trafficking in the region.  This includes providing specialized training for competent authorities to effectively dismantle clandestine laboratories, disrupt the sale of illicit synthetic drugs and their precursor chemicals through the Internet, and prevent the use of postal systems to distribute such substances.  

The Group of Experts on Chemical Substances and Pharmaceutical Products brings together technical, regulatory and policy oriented representatives from OAS member states along with international experts concerned with the production, smuggling, and diversion of precursor chemicals used in the production of illicit drugs.  The meetings provide a forum for the exchange of up-to-date information, knowledge, best practices, and experiences among the different national, regional, and international stakeholders, and foster interagency collaboration through well-established working relationships.

Inputs from the Group also allow for identification of emerging and persistent threats, and enable CICAD to determine the best possible way forward in addressing them.  The Group also develops valuable reference tools and comprehensive evidence-based studies, model regulations, and guidelines to support OAS member states in strengthening their chemical control capacity, and updating their national legislative and regulatory frameworks.


Model Legislation

Reference Materials and Guides


Reference materials from the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)

updated on 10/10/2019 11:33:33 AM