Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.
Chemicals play two essential roles in the production of illegal drugs: as starting chemical inputs for the production of synthetic drugs such as methamphetamine and MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxmethamphetamine more commonly known under the name of ecstasy); and as refining agents and solvents for processing plant-based materials such as coca and opium poppy into drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Chemicals used in synthetic drug production are known as ―precursor‖ chemicals because they become incorporated into the drug product and are less likely to be substituted by other chemicals. Chemicals used to refine and process plant-based drugs are referred to as ―essential‖ chemicals and can be readily replaced by other chemicals with similar properties. Both sets of chemicals are often referred to as ―precursor chemicals and for the sake of brevity, this term is used interchangeably for both categories throughout this report. In 2010 the United States and other nations continued to focus on preventing diversion of precursor chemicals.
International partners redoubled their efforts to target chemicals used in methamphetamine production as well as continued to target those used in in heroin and cocaine. Regional and multilateral cooperative efforts are critical in this regard. The result has been to force traffickers to use non-traditional routes and methods. These efforts built on a variety of bilateral, regional and multilateral mechanisms, such as the United Nations and the Organization of American States.
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|Author||Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs|
|Title||Drug and Chemical Control|
|Journal||INCSR 2011 Volume 1|