1. There is a need to continue to focus on and support actions in the important geographical centres for synthetic drug production, prioritising the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland and Bulgaria.
2. Improved analysis and information sharing is needed on new modi operandi of intra-European trafficking in synthetic drugs, such as the smuggling of liquid amphetamine oil, in order to improve capacity for interdiction.
3. There is a need to share information and analysis on seizures of synthetic drugs exported from, or transiting through, the EU. This should include improved profiling and risk analysis of couriers transporting methamphetamine via EU international airports, as well as exports from Europe to markets such as the Americas, Oceania and Asia.
Improving responses to a growing problem
4. Prevention, treatment and harm reduction interventions, as well as policing strategies, need to be more sensitive to the growing importance of synthetic stimulants and the specific public health and safety challenges posed by the misuse of this group of substances.
5. Targeted monitoring is required for the early detection of new patterns of use, particularly the smoking and injection of methamphetamine, with particular attention given to potentially harmful transitions between other substances such as heroin and new psychoactive substances.
Better understanding of production processes: implications for enforcement and health
6. Systematic forensic profiling of seizures would deliver key strategic and operational insights, and identify intervention opportunities. For this reason, a mechanism for sharing the results of analysis among stakeholders at national and European level in a timely manner would be beneficial.
7. Forensic information is also useful to identify health risks, including those posed by high-potency products or the synthesis of particularly harmful compounds that can arise from new production processes. Existing mechanisms, such as the EU Early Warning System on new psychoactive substances, may be used to rapidly exchange information and develop effective early-warning activities to protect public health.
8. There is a need to strengthen and support training and knowledge transfer on the dismantling of illicit production facilities, giving particular attention to the needs of countries beginning to detect synthetic drug production on their territories.
9. Data should be collected systematically using standardised tools such as the ERISSP and the Europol Illicit Laboratory Comparison System (EILCS).
10. There is a need to systematically collect data on chemical waste dump sites in order to better understand the environmental costs and health risks associated with synthetic drug production in the EU. Best practice in approaches to address this issue should be shared in order to protect public safety and the environment.