Sixty-fifth session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)

The sixty-fifth session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs will be held from 14 to 18 March 2022. The session will be held in a hybrid format, combining in-person participation at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) and online participation. The CND meets every year to discuss the global state of drug control and to adopt resolutions to guide the way forward. 

The EMCDDA attends the event to provide technical support to the European Commission and the EU Member States.

EMCDDA virtual exhibition at the CND

This year, the EMCDDA brings you a virtual exhibition stand where we are showcasing our recent activities, products and services. We will also be highlighting a number of side events and related materials in the course of the event. 

Side events

  • Prevention of overdoses and drug-related deaths, Tuesday, 15 March, 12:15-13:05 CET, Flyer
    During this side event, experts will present recent developments in and innovative projects on improved data collection and reporting tools and strategic measures to prevent and reduce overdose and drug-related deaths as the ultimate harm of drug use. 
    See the EMCDDA Miniguide on 'Opioid-related deaths: health and social responses'.
  • Children and families affected by parental drug use: current gaps and promising practices, Thursday, 17 March,12:15-13:05, Registration
    This event is organised by Dianova International with the co-sponsorship of Croatia, Italy, the Council of Europe's Pompidou Group, the Proyecto Hombre Association and the San Patrignano Foundation.
    Presentation on 'Children of parents who use drugs: From prevalence to policy and practice' by Prof. Dr. Catherine Comiskey, Chair of the EMCDDA Scientific Committee.
    Also see the Background paper 'Responses to the needs of children of people who use drugs'.

EMCDDA activities in 2021


photo of the building of the emcdda
The EMCDDA provides independent scientific evidence and analysis on all aspects of the drugs problem and aims to contribute to a healthier and more secure Europe through better-informed drug policy and action. This is particularly important today in the face of an increasingly complex drug phenomenon, which covers a much broader range of substances, behaviours and people. The EMCDDA draws the bulk of its data from the Reitox network of 29 national focal points (27 EU, Norway and Turkey), the backbone of the EU drug monitoring system. Renewing its commitment to the implementation of EMCDDA Strategy 2025, the network adopted during the year the second roadmap of its Reitox Development Framework. At the heart of the agency’s work in 2021 was the development of a new business model, which places customers and digital transformation at its core. Adopted by the Management Board in December, this model is designed to ensure that the agency is fit to perform in an increasingly dynamic external environment.

Early Warning System

In 2021, 52 new psychoactive substances (NPS) were reported for the first time via the EU Early Warning System (EWS), bringing the total number of NPS monitored through the system to 880. The EMCDDA responded to two synthetic cathinones (3-MMC and 3-CMC) posing public health and social threats, by launching risk assessments. On the basis of these, the Commission will propose to include these substances in the definition of ‘drug’ of Council Framework Decision 2004/757/JHA. The agency continued to implement key tools and procedures including the: European Database on New Drugs (EDND2); EWS operating guidelines; risk assessment guidelines; and working arrangements with EU agencies. Risk communications and analyses were issued, including two situation reports and two technical reports (on synthetic cannabinoids and new benzodiazepines). The Eighth international conference on novel psychoactive substances, co-organised by the EMCDDA, examined, among others, the impact of COVID-19 on NPS markets. On behalf of the EU Member States, the agency submitted data on NPS to the UNODC's Early Warning Advisory and assisted in prioritising substances to be reviewed by the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence.

Drug markets

Picture of crystal methamphetamine
In 2021, in the context of work on drug markets and drug-related crime, the agency reconceptualised the model for the EU Drug Markets Report into a modular format and developed detailed analyses on methamphetamine and cocaine markets (to be launched in the first half of 2022).

Building on previous work on Afghanistan, a special report, Methamphetamine from Afghanistan: signals indicate that Europe should be better prepared, was launched, examining the relatively recent emergence of methamphetamine production in that country and identifying actions that may be taken in Europe to mitigate the risks. Several rapid analyses on emerging drug-related security threats were also undertaken for key stakeholders. Finally, capitalising on capacities for monitoring drug supply via darknet markets, the agency developed the first darknet drug dashboards for a limited set of EU Member States, providing nationally relevant quarterly snapshots of activity on this topic.

Health and social responses

In the area of public health, the EMCDDA continued to support policymakers and practitioners working with drug-related challenges during the pandemic. The European Drug Report 2021 was informed by a targeted trendspotter study on the impact of COVID-19 on the drug situation, ensuring timeliness and relevance of findings. Autumn 2021 saw the launch of a new modular version of the Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide 2021 (composed of four sets of miniguides and an action framework) for designing, targeting and implementing effective responses. Another major publication in 2021 was Prison and drugs in Europe: current and future challenges, containing a broad overview of patterns of use, related harms, markets and responses in penal settings.

Capacity building and learning

The EMCDDA webinar series continued with a high level of participation and interest in the chosen topics in 2021. The 10th edition of the European Drugs Summer School and first edition of a European Drugs Winter School took place virtually, as did the key epidemiological indicator meetings and events on complementary methods (e.g. drug-checking and syringe-residue analysis). The annual legal correspondents meeting also took place online and regular cannabis policy alerts were published. Additional expert events were held, including those exploring gender and drugs, prison and drugs and e-health. On drug-related harms, work advanced in support of the global hepatitis C elimination agenda, with the publication of national barometers to support countries assessing their progress against SDG goals. In the area of drug prevention, a new online platform, PLATO, was launched to pilot training in the European Prevention Curriculum, while a six-step guide was published on implementing quality standards.

International cooperation

2 hands joining 2 jigsaw pieces
The EMCDDA continued to strengthen its cooperation with non-EU countries, in particular through EU-funded technical assistance projects (2019–2023), namely the IPA7 project (Western Balkans) and the EU4MD project (European Neighbouring Policy area). It also launched a new bilateral project with Georgia (EMCDDA4GE).

Finally, the agency will engage formally in the COPOLAD III project between 2022 and 2024, enhancing its cooperation with countries from Latin America and the Caribbean.