Infographic: opioids notifications to the Early Warning System and seizures

This infographic coming from the publication New psychoactive substances: 25 years of early warning and response in Europe — an update from the EU Early Warning System presents some key statistics on notifications of the opioids to the EWS and opioids seizures (trends in the number and quantities seized), in the EU-27.

The source data for the graphics is available in the source tables on this page.

Number and types of new synthetic opioids notified for the first time, 2009-2021 (EU+2)
Trends in the number of seizures, 2009-2020 (EU)
Trends in the quantity of powder seized, 2009-2020 (EU)
Number of opioid seizures by substance, 2020 (EU)
Quantity of opioid powders seized by substance, 2020 (EU)

Source data

Table 1: Number and types of new synthetic opioids notified for the first time, 2009-2021 (EU+2)
Year Other opioids Fentanyls Benzimidazoles
2009 1 0 0
2010 0 0 0
2011 0 0 0
2012 1 2 0
2013 2 2 0
2014 1 3 0
2015 1 3 0
2016 1 8 0
2017 3 10 0
2018 5 6 0
2019 5 2 1
2020 4 1 5
2021 3 0 3
Table 2: Trends in the number of seizures, 2009-2020 (EU)
Year 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Number of seizures 1 48 5 22 64 171 490 1368 1206 1157 580 594
Table 3: Trends in the quantity of powder seized, 2009-2020 (EU)
Year Powders seized other (kg) Powders seized fentanyl derivatives (kg) Powders seized benzimidazoles (kg)
2009 0.003 0 0
2010 0 0 0
2011 0.017 0 0
2012 0.024 0 0
2013 0.744 0.084 0
2014 0.357 0.928 0
2015 0.87 0.984 0
2016 3.107 4.313 0
2017 4.972 11.382 0
2018 1.865 5.094 0
2019 0.931 10.853 0.11
2020 0.656 1.478 3.424
Table 4: Number of opioid seizures by substance, 2020 (EU)
Substance Number of seizures
Isotonitazene 44
Carfentanil 308
Tramadol 147
Etazene 16
Ocfentanil 29
Others 50
Table 5: Quantity of opioid powders seized by substance, 2020 (EU)
Substance Powder seized (kg)
Isotonitazene 3.263
Carfentanil 1.301
Tramadol 0.217
Etazene 0.159
Piperidylthiambutene 0.167
Others 0.45

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