By the end of 2016, the EMCDDA was monitoring more than 620 NPS (compared with around 350 in 2013).
New synthetic opioids — highly potent and a growing health threat In Europe, as in North America, highly potent synthetic opioids, which mimic the effects of heroin and morphine, are a growing health threat.
A total of 8 441 overdose deaths, mainly related to heroin and other opioids, are estimated to have occurred in Europe in 2015 (28 EU, Turkey and Norway — Infographic, p.
77), a 6% increase on the estimated 7 950 deaths in the 30 countries in 2014.
Law-enforcement operations and control measures targeting NPS laboratories in China may also be contributing to the slowdown.
EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel says: ‘Our latest findings suggest that responses to new psychoactive substances, such as new legislation and measures targeting the high-street shops that sell these products, may be having an impact on the emergence of NPS on the market.