Colombia Minister of Justice raises concerns about rise of synthetic drug use in Colombia

The Colombia Minister of Justice has stated that the rapid development of new synthetic drugs in Europe is concerning, as the use of so called designer drugs is higher in Colombia than in neighbouring countries.

Minister of Justice Yesid Reyes raised the concerns after a meeting of a think-tank related related to increased use of synthetic drugs worldwide.

Existing drugs such as MDMA and LSD have been available in Colombia for a number of years now, but recent years have seen a dramatic rise in the use in synthetic drugs such as 2CB, commonly known as pink cocaine, which has grown in popularity in Colombia and led to increased violence between competing local drug gangs.

MORE: Designer drug 2C-B increasingly popular in Colombia’s club scene: Report

After the meeting with drug experts, Reyes stated that the nature of the drugs, which can be made on a small scale using easily available chemicals, was concerning. Reyes claimed that a new designer drug is created every six days.

This means, Reyes said, “the possibilities of molecular combination are virtually endless, so the output is easier, it can be changed and therefore is more difficult to control.”

At current there are 234 substances controlled by the United Nations however there are 388 new psychoactive substances that do not have any control.

The head of the Justice Ministry warned that “it is a challenge worldwide, producing legislation to monitor new drugs because it takes governments longer to produce legal standards than for traffickers to introduce new chemical variations that sidestep the law recently issued”.

According to the annual reports of the United Nations, amphetamine-type stimulants (ecstasy, amphetamine and methamphetamine) are the second most used type of drug after marijuana.

The Minister of Justice stated that while the level of synthetic drug use in Colombia is still comparatively low compared to drugs such as cocaine “we are beginning to see an increase that puts us ahead of the Andean countries in the consumption of these drugs.”


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