Each issue of the Update contains regional overviews and a special coverage and thematic segments. The special segment of the current issue concerns South Asia, a region which has traditionally been associated with opiates, not synthetic drugs.
The UNODC Global Synthetics Monitoring: Analyses, Reporting and Trends (SMART) Update is designed to provide regular brief reporting on emerging patterns and trends of the fast changing global synthetic drug situation.
The Update reports synthetic drug information in several categories, such as significant or unusual drug or precursor chemical seizures, new locations or methods for clandestine manufacture, new trafficking groups or routes, changes in legislation to address the problem of synthetic drugs, environmental impact from their illicit manufacture and destruction, emerging drugs or user groups, and health implications related to their use.
While information on law enforcement activities is often abundant, information about the demand for ATS is often scarce and anecdotal in nature. Nevertheless, the Update continues to make a determined effort to highlight the human toll of ATS use. Various demand-related subjects are covered in this issue, including facts that have come to light about the use of synthetic drugs in Australia, China, Chile and the United States.