Rapid Drug Alert Subsystem (SAR) completes one year

Rapid Drug Alert Subsystem (SAR) completes one year

The Rapid Drug Alert Subsystem (SAR) completes, today (30/08), one year of creation. The mechanism, established by the federal government on August 30, 2021, with the publication of Resolution No. 6 in the Official Gazette, allows for faster identification of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) in Brazil.

The main objective of the SAR is to collect and produce data and information on drugs and, through monitoring, to detect, evaluate and respond to social and public health threats. The SAR works as a surveillance instrument that aggregates epidemiological data from the areas of health and public safety, as well as information on new psychoactive substances and other emerging drug phenomena, seeking to support decision-making processes and the development of rapid interventions.

Coordinated by the National Secretariat for Drug Policies and Asset Management of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security (Senad/MJSP), the SAR was implemented on an experimental basis and has just been extended for another year, by collegiate decision in the most recent meeting of the National Council on Drug Policies (Conad). Two SAR reports have already been released and the third will be released shortly.

The Center of Excellence for Reducing the Supply of Illicit Drugs (CdE) provides technical support to the SAR by providing data and information, performing analyzes and, eventually, disseminating knowledge.

New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)

To understand the importance of creating the subsystem, it is important to know the risks that NSPs pose. NSPs – or NPS, are new narcotics or psychotropics, in pure form or in preparation, that are not controlled by the United Nations drug conventions, but that can pose a threat to public health comparable to that posed by substances listed in these conventions.

NSPs are formulated to mimic the effects of existing drugs, natural or synthetic. However, as they are new molecules, there is no consolidated information about their potential harm to health, which makes them a major challenge for public health and safety.

Therefore, monitoring, information sharing, early warning and awareness of the risks they can cause are essential – a role that the SAR seeks to play.


The creation of an SAR is a fundamental step towards the rapid and efficient control of drugs and the mitigation of the deleterious effects caused by the abuse of psychoactive substances. Many governments have already established national drug early warning systems, and some are part of broader regional arrangements. Among these multilateral arrangements, the European Union SARthe Americas Region SAR (SATA), and early warning advice within the scope of United Nations (UN).

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