The 1971 Convention was adopted to limit the diversion and abuse of certain psychotropic substances, such as central nervous stimulants, sedative-hypnotics and hallucinogens, which had resulted in public health and social problems in some countries.
Parties to the 1971 Convention should comply with the dual aim of (i) limiting the use of psychotropic substances to medical and scientific purposes and (ii) ensuring their availability for those purposes.
The number of substances placed under control continues to increase, currently one hundred thirty psychotropic substances are controlled under the 1971 Convention. Governments must provide statistical returns on manufacture, imports and exports of psychotropic substances to INCB on the forms supplied for that purpose. In addition, they should provide complementary information on psychotropic substances, based on recommendations of the Economic and Social Council.
The controls foreseen under the 1971 Convention together with the additional controls required by the Economic and Social Council have significantly reduced the diversion of psychotropic substances. INCB publishes each year information on the licit movement of psychotropic substances in a technical publication .