Convention on Psychotropic Substances

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: Vienna, Austria
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 16/08/1976


Good Governance

Sub category




What is it about?

This Convention is similar to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The present instrument, however, specifically concentrates on psychotropic substances. A psychotrope is a substance commonly found in pharmaceutical products that acts upon the nervous system. They include hallucinogens, stimulants, antidepressants and analgesics. The 1971 Convention expressly forbids the manufacture, export, import, distribution and stocks of, trade in, and use and possession of such psychotrope drugs for all matters other than for medical or scientific purposes. The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) created under the Single Convention on Narcotics is responsible for ensuring that the terms of the Convention are fulfilled. To accomplish this, the INCB directly monitors the production, trade and sale of psychotropic substances. It also administers an estimates system for narcotic drugs and a voluntary assessment system for psychotropic substances and analyzes international trade in drugs through a statistical returns system. The Board also maintains a permanent dialogue with Governments to assist them in complying with their obligations under the international drug control treaties and, to that end, recommends, where appropriate, technical or financial assistance to be provided. It also analyses information provided by Governments, United Nations bodies, specialized agencies or other competent international organizations, with a view to ensuring that Governments adequately carry out the provisions of the international drug control treaties. If further recommends remedial measures.

Why is it relevant?

The adoption of this instrument assists States in reducing the illicit trade and usage of legally produced psychotropic substances.

Additional Information

The United Nations Commission on Narcotics Drugs, under the Economic and Social Council, is responsible for maintaining the schedule of controlled psychotropic substances. Its secretariat is located in Vienna, Austria.


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