Drugs in Europe 2017: new threats

The 2017 EMCDDA European Drug Report highlights concerns over drug overdoses, new drugs, the rise of fentanyl and whether EU countries will legalise cannabis.

Drug-related deaths reach record highs

The Office for National Statistics has released the very depressing figure for the number of drug-related deaths registered in 2015 – the highest ever recorded.

UK has highest rates of drug use in Europe

The UK had the highest rate of heroin use in Europe (out of 21 reporting countries). The UK had the highest rate of cocaine use in Europe (out of 26 reporting countries). The UK had the highest rate of ecstasy use in Europe (out of 25 reporting countries). The UK had the 22nd highest rate of amphetamine use (out of 25 reporting countries). The UK had the 22nd highest rate of cannabis use (out of 27 reporting countries)

What’s happening with cocaine?

The ACMD found that “the majority of users consume cocaine powder relatively infrequently and, even among users, there appears to be a reasonable level of awareness that cocaine powder is not a ‘safe’ drug.”

The UK drug scene is changing fast

Almost every area reported a continued rise in the use of new psychoactive substances. The rapid rise in the use of synthetic cannabinoids such as Black Mamba and Exodus Damnation was of particular concern, particularly amongst vulnerable groups such as opiate users, street homeless, prisoners and socially excluded young people. The problematic use of these drugs has featured regularly in prison inspectorate reports over the last year.

How big is the drugs trade?

One of the principal attractions of a good infographic is that it’s possible to assemble many pages’ worth of key facts and figures in one image. The infographic below, developed by the Top Criminal Justice Schools website, manages to pull together information about the size of the global drug market in terms of: Users; Value; Expenditure and
Kingpins (several of whom reliably make the Forbes world’s richest list every year)

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