Chinese authorities have seized a total of 1,753 kg of listed new psychoactive substances (NPS) since Oct. 2015, the National Narcotics Control Commission (NNCC) said Monday.
Another 10 tons of unlisted NPS and raw materials were also seized, dozens of suspects arrested and eight production labs destroyed, according to the NNCC.
An analogue to hard drugs, NPS contain one or more chemical substances and are considered to have similar or stronger effects in terms of causing excitement, hallucinations, anesthesia among other reactions.
Drug dealers often produce such substances to avoid crackdowns and drug control.
Since 2009, the production of new psychoactive substances has been rising all over the world, becoming one of the largest challenges in the international efforts to control narcotics in recent years, said Deng Ming, deputy director of the NNCC.
Up to nine categories and 789 types of NPS have been discovered worldwide so far in 2017, up from 2012's seven categories and 251 types. The number of countries that have discovered the drugs has also increased from 70 in 2012, to 107 in 2016, Deng continued.
So far, 138 types of such drugs have been listed in China, where the control of NPS has been enforced for years.
In 2001, ketamine was the first NPS China added to its national control list, before another more than ten types were added to a catalogue of narcotic and psychoactive drugs in 2010.
On Oct. 1, 2015, a guideline on the control of non-medicinal narcotic and psychoactive drugs went into effect, listing 116 NPS for control.