UNODC Early Warning Advisory on New Psychoactive Substances


The UNODC Early Warning Advisory (EWA) serves as a global drug early warning system. It was established in response to the emergence of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) at the global level as a monitoring tool and knowledge hub for policymakers, laboratories and law enforcement on NPS trends, harms (toxicology and pharmacology), national legislative responses and substance analysis.

The UNODC Early Warning Advisory includes public information as well as sections restricted for official (government-related) use. If you would like to request access to the restricted sections please, contact You can also find an EWA user guide within the restricted section.

The Early Warning Advisory aims to:

  • monitor, analyse and report on NPS trends as a basis for effective evidence-based policy responses
  • act as a repository for information on NPS chemistry, pharmacology, distribution and use
  • collect toxicology data in collaboration with The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists (TIAFT) from case reports of intoxications, including fatalities
  • generate timely information on the harms and adverse health consequences associated with the use of NPS
  • provide information on different types of legislation for regulating NPS
  • serve as a platform for providing technical assistance to Member States
  • help identify the most harmful, persistent and prevalent NPS so that they can be prioritized for international control

UNODC support through the Early Warning Advisory includes:

  • improving early warning mechanisms at the national, regional and global level
  • strengthening national capacity to detect, identify, monitor, and dispose of synthetic drugs and NPS
  • providing manuals on the identification and analysis of fentanyl and its analogues, piperazines, synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones
  • distributing selected chemical reference standards to forensic laboratories through the International Quality Assurance Programme
  • training and awareness-raising workshops for laboratories and law enforcement
  • improving access to information about NPS for evidence-based policy formulation