Toxicology in international drug control—Prioritizing the most harmful, persistent and prevalent substances

Susan C. Ifeagwu, Martin Raithelhuber, Conor Crean, Dimitri Gerostamoulos, Heesun Chung, Justice N. Tettey

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7 Citations (Scopus)


The nature of the global drugs market has evolved rapidly and has become more complex with the emergence of new psychoactive substances (NPS), some of which have been associated with increased abuse, hospital emergency admissions and sometimes fatalities. NPS are characterized by geographic heterogeneity, with some only transient in nature and others not satisfying the criteria for harm required for international control. Consequently, a pragmatic response of the international community is to prioritize the most harmful, persistent and prevalent substances for action — an objective, which is hampered by the paucity of data on harms. The report describes a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) initiative, in collaboration with the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists (TIAFT), to collect, analyze and share toxicology data at a global level to reinforce the ability of the international community in making informed decisions using a scientific evidence-based approach, in identifying the most harmful NPS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-6
Number of pages5
JournalForensic Science International
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • Early warning
  • New psychoactive substances
  • NPS
  • Toxicology

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