Illegal drug trends in Taiwan, 2009-2018
Drug abuse is a transnational issue and the origin of its problems come from physical, psychological, social, economic and many other complex factors, and the harm it causes is also widespread to individual health, social security and national development. Supervising drug abuse trend is very important and help government projected to take preventive measures in implementing early intervention. To get an insight to status of domestic drug abuse and epidemic trends, the Taiwan government has established a drug abuse supervising mechanism, which all certification analytical agencies or institutions reported the test results of seized specimens for drug abuse via the "Analytical Laboratory Drug Abuse Report System" (UDARS), to the Food and Drug Administration (TFDA).
In this study, we analyzed the drug abuse related data from the UDARS and map out the trends of illegal drugs abuse in Taiwan 2009-2018.
We found that methamphetamine, ketamine and heroin were the most commonly abused drugs in Taiwan. Heroin abuse is decreasing however there is an increasing trend of new psychoactive substances (NPS). Moreover, NPS is often found in mixture of emerging drug of abuse in Taiwan. The number of reported NPS increased dramatically from 13 in 2009 to 45 in 2018. A cumulative total of 150 individual NPS were reported in the period 2009-2018.
Taken together, our results provided an evidence based data analysis of the illegal drug abuse trends in Taiwan. The results will be useful for government provide warning function into full play and prevent illegal drug abuse in the future.