TREND scheme (Emerging Trends and New Drugs)

The Emerging Trends and New Drugs (TREND) scheme identifies and describes trends and emerging phenomena related to illicit psychotropic substances or those diverted from their intended use. It is based on a network of eight metropolitan areas (Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Metz, Paris, Rennes and Toulouse) and the Réunion Island, as well as the SINTES (National Identification System for Toxics and Substances) observation system, which focuses on studying the toxicological composition of illicit substances.

The OFDT’s TREND scheme focuses on drug-using populations living on the margins of society (streets, squats, etc.) and dance-event settings (alternative and commercial techno scenes). TREND is based on qualitative data collected form users, health and social workers and law-enforcement services. With the exception of alcohol and tobacco, the scheme covers all psychoactive substances, whether illicit or diverted from their intended use.


The OFDT has been coordinating the TREND scheme since 1999. National coordination is provided by the OFDT’s FOCUS unit. At local level, data is collected by a network of coordinating offices in eight metropolitan areas (Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Metz, Paris, Rennes and Toulouse) and on Réunion Island (since 2021). These nine local co-ordinations are also responsible for the SINTES system.


The local TREND partners are Addictions méditerranée (Marseille), Cédragir (Lille), the Comité d’étude et d’information sur la drogue et les addictions (CEID Addiction, Bordeaux), the Comité mosellan de sauvegarde de l'enfance, de l'adolescence et des adultes (CMSEA, Metz), the Centre régional d'études, d'actions et d'informations – Observatoire régional de Santé CREAI-ORS Occitanie (Toulouse), Liberté couleurs (Rennes), Oppelia Charonne (Paris), Oppelia Rupture (Lyon), Santé addiction outre-mer (SAOME, la Réunion).

Seven regional health agencies (ARS) provide support for the TREND scheme, in addition to OFDT funding. In this way, they have access to expertise which they can use to improve local public policies.


The TREND scheme has two additional objectives: 

  • to provide health monitoring and early information in order to identify and describe emerging and/or uncommon phenomena in the use of psychoactive substances (in terms of substance monitoring, the TREND scheme is closely linked to the SINTES system).
  • contribute to our understanding and knowledge of longer-term trends in drug use.

Information is gathered on four main themes: 

  1. the people who use drugs in particular (their use practices, their lifestyles, their perceptions of products, and the health and social consequences of such use).
  2. the contexts of their use.
  3. The substances (their name, price, and method of consumption).
  4. The organisation of local trafficking and local acquisition methods.


The local TREND scheme co-ordinations use qualitative methods (ethnographic observations, group and individual interviews) to document emerging phenomena and trends in the use of illicit drugs, and medicines outside therapeutic protocols. These coordination centres collect their information from actors (users, professionals in the socio-sanitary sector and law enforcement, etc.) whose local roots contribute to a better understanding of regional specificities. Two areas that are particularly affected by the use of psychoactive substances are investigated: the marginal urban environment (streets, squats, drug dealing areas, facilities for drug users, etc.) and the techno party scene, which includes both alternative (free parties, squats) and commercial (clubs, discos, bars, festivals) venues. In 2020, the OFDT published the methodology handbook of the scheme (in French).


Data from the OFDT’s TREND scheme can be used in a variety of internal and external publications.

Each year, the national coordination of the scheme produces an issue of Tendances; occasionally, other thematic publications are based in whole or in part on data collected as part of the TREND scheme (for example on nitrous oxide, drug use by unaccompanied minors or GHB/GBL).