United Nations International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) 2022 Report has been announced!
The United Nations Narcotics Control Board (INCB) 2022 Report was prepared simultaneously with the world and was announced by Üsküdar University Vice Rector, the United Nations (UN) Narcotics Control Board Member for the periods 2005-2010, 2015-2022 and 2022-2027and former President Prof. Sevil Atasoy.
Developments in the legalization of non-therapeutic use of cannabis in some countries were analyzed in the report. It was stated in the report that the use of electronic permission in the import and export of narcotics and psychotropics would facilitate monitoring, and it was stated that the use of electronic permission accelerated processes and reduced fraud. The report also called attention to the increase in global access to opioid painkillers. It was reported that the use of opioid painkillers, which was 50 thousand in 2001, reached approximately 250 thousand in 2020.
The report stated that Türkiye seized a record amount (22.2 tons) of heroin in 2021. It was stated that there was a 79% increase in the seizure of heroin compared to 2019. According to the report, there is a large increase in methamphetamine seizures in Türkiye. 1 ton of methamphetamine was seized in 2019, 4.1 tons in 2020, and 5.5 tons in 2021. In August 2021, 4.3 tons from Hong Kong, China were intercepted at the Istanbul cargo terminal. Three major captures were made in the first five months of 2022. In May 2022, 1,117 kg of liquid and crystal meth were seized in Istanbul. It was stated that the use of diazepam in Türkiye increased by 100 percent in the report.
President of Üsküdar University, Psychiatrist Prof. Nevzat Tarhan, on the other hand, stated that the increase in substance use affects the adolescents the most and said, “There is a serious increase in the statistics of the substance use in adolescents. Cannabis use at the age of 12 and over increased from 16.5% to 24.5%. It is possible to say that there has been an increase especially since 2008. It peaked after 2012.”. Underlining that there is a 30 percent increase in hospital admissions in substance-related psychotic cases, Tarhan said, "Between 2010 and 2018, hospital admissions increased 8 times due to health problems related to addictions that developed after global cannabis use.". Stating that all the statistics show that the world policies on cannabis use should be reviewed, Tarhan said and warned, “The sensitivity shown to the use of cigarettes should be shown five times more against cannabis use. The precautions taken for smoking should also be taken for cannabis. States should also allocate budgets to combat addiction. In summary, either policies should be changed or a special budget should be allocated.”. Tarhan also said that we let the snake bite while trying to avoid the bite of the fly.
Üsküdar University Vice Rector, Member for the periods 2005-2010, 2015-2022 and 2022-2027and former President of the United Nations (UN) Narcotics Control Board Prof. Sevil Atasoy announced the 2022 reports of the UN International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) simultaneously with the world in a statement she made.
President of Üsküdar University, Psychiatrist Prof. Nevzat Tarhan was also present in the press meeting held in Üsküdar University Altunizade Campus Senate Hall.
The report is covered in four sections
The 2022 Annual Report was discussed in four sections. In addition to the 2022 Annual Report, the following sections were included: "Analysis of developments in the legalization of the non-therapeutic use of cannabis", "Functioning of the international narcotics control system", "Global issues and regional analysis" and "Recommendations", an additional section entitled "No Patient is Left Behind: Securing access to the controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes".
The logic of legalization was mentioned
In the section titled "Analysis of developments in the legalization of non-therapeutic use of cannabis", current problems faced by governments and society, political and legal developments regarding the use and control of cannabis, the concept of "legalization" and the logic of legalization were discussed.
Cannabis consumption and public health issues addressed
Different models of the legalization of non-therapeutic use of cannabis, different political approaches in the light of narcotics control agreements, the effects of cannabis legalization, cannabis consumption, public health, road safety, illegal cannabis markets and the economy were covered in the section.
In this section, it is stated that the conventions provide various opportunities for the parties to protect young people, to improve public health, to prevent unnecessary conviction, to combat illicit markets and related organized crime. Stating that, at the center of this approach, there are the principle of proportionality, the creation of better education, prevention and treatment programs, social prevention and security measures, and the fight against organized crime, it is stated that the INCB is a support in governments' compliance with conventions.
New substances were inspected
The new substances inspected in the report were listed as narcotics, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals. Narcotic substances "brorphine" and "metonitazene", psychotropic substances "eutylone" and precursor chemicals "4-AP", "1-boc-4-AP" and "norfentanyl" were listed.
Global issues are covered
In the “Global Issues” section of the report, topics that are listed are as follows; the threat posed by the increase in illicit cocaine production and trafficking, the introduction of new dangerous substances (non-fentanyl opioids), government-private cooperation on precursor chemicals, uncontrolled chemicals and hazardous substances, access to mental health and regulated psychotropic substances, granting equal rights to substance users and preventing discrimination in prevention, treatment and rehabilitation programs, using electronic methods in the import/export of narcotic substances under international control, and the responsibility of transit countries in the legal trade of substances under international control.
Attention is called to the increase in cocaine production and smuggling
Factors such as the development of cultivation areas, possible cocaine production, new ways to increase smuggling, and changes in production and usage areas were mentioned in the report, which called attention to the increase in cocaine production and smuggling. Topics that were highlighted in the report are as follows; the need for coordinated combat at all points of the secondary extraction cocaine supply chain in Europe, focusing on the causes of the increase in cultivation, production, smuggling and consumption, as appropriate premises inspection, risk analysis in maritime smuggling, capacity building of port personnel, cooperation with the private sector in the supply chain, and cooperation with the private sector in the supply chain, the importance of tackling illegal financial flows.
I2ES system should be encouraged
It was stated in the report that the use of electronic permission in the import and export of narcotics and psychotropics would facilitate monitoring, and it was stated that the use of electronic permission accelerated and reduced fraud. In the report, which emphasized the need to encourage the International Import and Export Authorization System (I2ES), it was indicated that COVID-19 increased the use and resorted to methods other than I2ES and stated that "Different methods hinder international trade and carry the risk of smuggling. Governments must use only I2ES, their national systems must be compatible with convention and CND decisions.”.
In the report, it was emphasized that mental health is an element of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and included the situation in middle-income and low-income countries and the inclusion of mental health in national health systems by referring to disasters affecting all parts of the world, over-prescribing and personal overuse, difficulties in monitoring psychotropic consumption, access to treatment and medicine.
Collaboration with the private sector and industry must be done
It was stated in the report that the qualities of the smuggled substances and the rapid change in the routes were required to respond quickly and to cooperate with the private sector. In the report, which also mentioned the importance of cooperation with the industry, it is stated that “It is part of the 1988 Convention. Every sector that may be involved in illegal production and distribution (especially machinery, equipment) should be included.” In the report, where it was stated that there were beneficial practices, it was noted that the INCB provided support for the opportunities and resources related to the subject.
Emphasizing that mental health is an element of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, the report emphasizes the situation in middle and low-income countries and disasters affecting the whole world, overprescribing and personal overuse, difficulties in monitoring psychotropic consumption, and the importance of access to treatment and medication, and inclusion of mental health in national health systems.
Remarkable increase in the use of painkillers!
The report also pointed out the increase in global access to opioid painkillers. It was reported that the use of opioid painkillers, which was 50 thousand in 2001, reached approximately 250 thousand in 2020.
What is morphine used for?
The report also included the use of morphine between 2001 and 2020. Accordingly, the use for the production of uncontrolled substance is 1.6 percent, III. Scale Consumption for the manufacture of schedule items was 2.4 percent; use for the manufacture of other narcotics was 3.9 percent, direct consumption was 9.5 percent, and use for the manufacture of codeine was 82.6 percent.
Recommendations by the INBC are also included in the report
The section of the report titled “2022 Preliminary Report” included the recommendations of the UN International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). The recommendations by the INBC were listed as follows:
• Increasing operational capacity and cooperation to prevent smuggling tendency
• Increasing the level of knowledge to protect the legal market and its operators from smugglers
• Increasing “back investigation” cooperation on discontinued shipments
• Proactive information to prevent the use of chemically similar substances by smugglers
• Training on the investigation of precursor chemicals trafficking over the Internet
Türkiye in the INCB 2022 Report
The use of diazepam in Türkiye has increased by 100 percent!
Prof. Sevil Atasoy also touched upon information about Türkiye in the INCB 2022 Report.
It was stated in the report that the use of diazepam in Türkiye increased by 100 percent.
It is the third in the world in the production of opium raw materials
In the report, it was stated in the data regarding the supply and demand of opiate raw materials that the morphine-rich opium poppy harvest increased significantly, and it was the third in the world in the production of morphine-rich opium raw material (69 tons) and the country with the highest morphine-rich opium raw material stock in the world (303 tons).
It was stated that Iran and Türkiye reported a large increase in seizure in the section where it was stated that methamphetamine production in Afghanistan raises concerns.
Officials from 14 countries received training
It was stated in the report that the officials from 14 countries in Western Asia were trained with INCB Learning e-modules, and it is stated that these countries are Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Türkiye, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
First global meeting on synthetic opioid held in Vienna
In the report, which stated that the first global meeting of the GRIDS Program aimed at increasing knowledge and capacity on synthetic opioids was held in Vienna on 1-15 August 2022, it was stated that Türkiye was among the 140 professional participants. The 5th annual meeting of the GRIDS Program was held in Vienna on September 6 - 9, 2022. Türkiye was among the 60 professional participants, which aims to increase information and operational capacity on courier and cargo services and smuggled dangerous synthetic materials and chemicals.
Türkiye seized record amount of heroin in 2021
In the report, which stated that the impact of Covid-19 on the Balkan route was low, it was stated that Türkiye seized a record amount of heroin (22.2 tons) in 2021. Compared to 2019, an increase of 79% was detected.
According to the report, there is a large increase in methamphetamine seizures in Türkiye. (1 ton in 2019, 4.1 tons in 2020, 5.5 tons in 2021) In August 2021, 4.3 tons from Hong Kong, China were caught at the Istanbul cargo terminal. Three major captures were made in the first five months of 2022. In May 2022, 1,117 kilograms of liquid and crystal meth were seized in Istanbul. The organization collapsed.
Major narcotics operations carried out in 2022
The report also indicated the narcotic operations carried out in Türkiye in 2022. It was stated in the report that a significant amount of cocaine smuggling was carried out from South America to Türkiye, and it was noted that Türkiye is a transit country for the Middle East and European markets.
- In June 2022, 850 kg of cocaine hidden in a banana, was seized in a container prepared to be sent to Türkiye at the Ecuadorian port of Guayaquil.
- In April 2022, 250 kg of cocaine, which was sent in the same way from the same place, was seized in Mersin port. Türkiye carried out a large number of seizures of cocaine.
- Cocaine to be sent to Türkiye was seized in Ecuador, Malta and West African countries.
According to the report, 1.96 tons of cocaine was seized in Türkiye in 2020 and 2.8 tons in 2021.
Türkiye reports methamphetamine as a serious public health problem
The report evaluated that criminal organizations in Türkiye have turned to cocaine, possibly due to the drop in opiate prices. In the report, it is stated that “Türkiye reports methamphetamine as a serious public health problem. There is an increase both in trafficking and in methamphetamine-related deaths. 6.2% of drug-related deaths in 2018 and 31.2% of drug-related deaths in 2020 are due to methamphetamine.”.
There was a decrease in substance use in the pandemic
In the report, which stated that the use of MDMA, cocaine and cannabis decreased at full lock-down period during Covid-19, then it returned to the former level, it is stated that “Methamphetamine use, on the other hand, increased during full lockdown period, and then continued to increase. Increased use of legal pregabalin was seen. The market is turning to more easily available, cheaper materials. (From a study published in Türkiye on February 11, 2022)”.
Heroin may have turned into methamphetamine smuggling
In the report, findings were included and it is stated that “Heroin seizures decreased in the Balkan countries in 2020. In 2021, it is claimed that it is operated via shipping by Bulgaria sea. Instead of heroin, it may be that methamphetamine is smuggled on the Balkan Road.”.
Regarding morphine-rich poppy capsule concentrate (CPS), it was noted that It (69 tons) was produced in Australia, France, Spain, Türkiye, and consume in Türkiye was 5,148 tons.
Türkiye is the second in the world
In the data on CPS for the production of morphine anhydride from morphine-rich poppy capsule concentrate, it was stated that Türkiye was the second in the world (48.4 tons) after France. It was noted that global exports decreased from 239 tons to 47 tons in 10 years, and Türkiye exported 5 tons. It was stated that the production of morphine from this product decreased worldwide, and this amount was 11 tons in Türkiye.
It was stated that Türkiye was the world's first (14.5 kg) importer of remifentanil during Covid-19, the world's first (0.5 tons) in Pethidine consumption, and the third (70 kg) in the world in terms of Allobarbital requirement.
Türkiye is the only country in Western Asia to smuggle ephedrine
In the report, which also drew attention to the precursor chemicals used in the illegal manufacture of amphetamine, it was stated that ephedrine and pseudoephedrine were also used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. In the report, which includes that Türkiye is the third in the world in legal import of pseudoephedrine, it was noted that Türkiye is the only country in Western Asia to seize smuggled ephedrine, 2.6 million tablets of pseudoephedrine were seized in Bulgaria in Europe, and its origin is Türkiye.
60% of the acetic anhydride seized in the world in 2021 was seized in Türkiye
According to the report, 60 percent of the acetic anhydride seized in the world in 2021 was seized in Türkiye, which was three times more than that of 2020 (36,300 liters). It is predicted that 270 – 320 tons of pure heroin will be produced in Afghanistan this year. This requires 270,000 – 800,000 liters of anhydride. Türkiye is in transit between Europe and Afghanistan. Türkiye also reported that it seized acetyl chloride.
President of Üsküdar University, Psychiatrist Prof. Nevzat Tarhan, on the other hand, called attention to the drawbacks of legalizing cannabis use in some countries.
Prof. Nevzat Tarhan: “When we try to avoid the bite of the fly, we let the snake bite”
Stating that cannabis is a fact of life, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan continued his remarks as follows:
“After the earthquake, life needs normalization. Individually, the normalization process should be started within 2-4 weeks. Otherwise, social mental health is disrupted. Substance and alcohol use increase in trauma. Illegal drug trafficking may have decreased, however, we can say that alcohol use has increased, as well. The United Nations Narcotics Control Board focused specifically on cannabis in this year's report. Expectations regarding the use of this substance in the world were realized beyond the plan. In particular, it was studied on controlled use to prevent illegal use. It was thought that it would be easy to follow up with the usage in certain places when the buyers and the sellers being determined. Its use has become widespread in Northern Europe and America. However, this planning was not enough to reduce the illegal use of the substance, on the contrary, it increased it more. While trying to avoid the bite of the fly with controlled use, they let the snake bite.”
Prof. Nevzat Tarhan: “No penalty for use was perceived as legalization”
Pointing out that the supply of cannabis in illegal markets has increased while aiming to decrease criminal activities, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said, “This situation contains a paradox. An effect was created that spread the use of the market was increased without realizing it, while it was aimed to decrease the market and for the users to use it openly. In the coming decades, the cannabis substance will stand in the dock again. Non-punishment for use was perceived as legalization in societies, and it was understood as if it had been decriminalized. It is also difficult to convince those who say, "It is sold in pharmacies, why shouldn't I use it?".
Prof. Nevzat Tarhan: “Cannabis use over the age of 12 increased by 8 percent”
Emphasizing that substance use is effective in increasing psychotic diseases, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said, “There is a significant increase in the substance use statistics of adolescents. Cannabis use at the age of 12 and over increased from 16.5% to 24.5%. There are also statistics showing the rate at which suicide, self-poisoning, major depression, and depressive symptoms are increasing in adolescents worldwide. It is possible to say that there has been an increase especially since 2008. It peaked after 2012. The increase in statistics for adolescents is independent of the pandemic. Although official figures have not been announced yet, as experts, we think that it has increased even more in the pandemic.”.
Prof. Nevzat Tarhan: “Adolescents are in the high-risk group”
Noting that the increase in substance use mostly affects adolescents, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said, “Adolescents are in the high-risk group. Adolescence is actually a period of searching for and finding one's own identity. Feelings come before mind. In such a situation, one does what one likes. They are experimenting with cannabis with their friends. Then, there is depression, suicide attempts, running away from home, absenteeism from school, and adolescents are wasted in a way.”.
Prof. Nevzat Tarhan: “The production and use of methamphetamine is quite common in Türkiye”
Underlining that there is a 30 percent increase in hospital admissions in psychotic cases due to substance use, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said, “Between 2010 and 2018, hospital admissions increased 8 times due to health problems related to addictions that developed after global cannabis use. Applications related to psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia due to cannabis use also increased 4 times. Besides the cannabis, there is another secret partner. It is methamphetamine. Meth is produced and used synthetically a lot in Türkiye.”.
Prof. Nevzat Tarhan: “States should allocate a special budget for substance abuse”
Stating that vehicle accidents related to cannabis use have also increased, psychiatrist Prof. Nevzan Tarhan concluded his remarks as follows:
“All statistics show that world policies on cannabis use need to be reviewed. The cannabis industry is growing very quickly. Concepts such as decriminalization or becoming nonincriminating and enactment were mixed. The perception that medical use is legalized has settled, however, new perception studies are needed to change this perception. The sensitivity shown to the use of cigarettes should be shown five times more against cannabis use The precautions taken for smoking should also be taken for cannabis. A non-smoker can use cannabis. Its use in the form of electronic cigarettes is also a topic of discussion. Although the crime of trafficking has decreased during the Covid period, we cannot say that this situation reduces substance use. If current policies are continued, states should allocate separate budgets to combat addiction. In summary, either policies should be changed or a special budget should be allocated.”.
Üsküdar News Agency (ÜNA)