"Since around 2008, there has been a dramatic growth in the NPS market as globalisation and new technologies, such as the internet, have allowed them to be produced, sold and supplied on an industrial scale. Between 2009 and 2018, 119 countries and territories reported the emergence of 892 different NPS to UNODC, through the UNODC Early Warning Advisory on NPS (UNODC, 2019b). In Europe, more than 730 NPS have appeared on the drug market since monitoring began in 1997, with around 90 % of these being detected between 2008 and 2018 (EMCDDA, 2019b). The growth in the market has also been reflected in large increases in the number of seizures made by law enforcement agencies, and in reports of severe and fatal overdoses.

"Many NPS are produced and sold openly by chemical and pharmaceutical companies in China. They are imported into Europe, processed into products and sold in shops, on the internet or through the illicit drug markets. To a lesser extent, India is also an important source of some NPS, particularly those sold as medicines (Evans-Brown and Sedefov, 2018). Illicit laboratories in China, India, and Europe also produce some types of NPS."


European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction and Europol (2019), EU Drug Markets Report 2019, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.