NPS: Belarus

Until 2008, the main psychoactive substances consumed in Belarus have been opiates, made from poppy seeds and poppy straws. During 2008 to 2009, Belarus became flooded with the so-called designer drugs or NPS, such as spices and smoking mixtures. Artificial cannabinoids with various rapidly changing formulas were advertised as legal substances and were freely sold in markets and kiosks. It took some time to add these and their precursors to the official list of narcotic and psychotropic substances in the Republic of Belarus, thus placing them under state control. Other types of NPS and synthetic cathinones later appeared in the drug market, such as “salts,” “crystals,” and “bath salts.”

The main factors that have driven the emergence of NPS include repressive drug policies, which ban “classic drugs”; lower cost and easier access to NPS; and the fact that Belarus is a transit country between Europe and Asia, from where many psychoactive substances are transferred.

Report “New Psychoactive Substance Use in Moldova and Belarus: Research Results from the Republic of Belarus”

Appendix 1 to the report (in Russian)

Appendix 2 to the report (in Russian)