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Europe sees rise in drug production


The European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) drew attention in its report, published on Tuesday, June 14, to the increase in drug production in Europe. The EMCDDA reports that more and more new psychoactive substances are being sold and consumed in the European Union.

The Lisbon-based organization’s annual report says the European Union has also become a major producer of some drugs, both for domestic consumption and for sale on the world market. This is evidenced by the fact that more than 350 drug laboratories were dismantled in the European Union in 2020. Of particular concern to the EMCDDA is the intensification of contacts based on the drug trade between international and European criminal groups.

It is estimated that 29% of adults in the European Union – about 83.4 million people – have used illicit drugs. Cannabis remains the most widely used drug. More than 22 million European adults were reported to have used it in the past year.

According to the EMCDDA, the availability and use of cocaine in Europe remains very high compared to last year, and the use of crack among vulnerable populations is on the rise. The growing diversity of the drug market is also evidenced by the widespread availability and use of synthetic cathinones such as amphetamines, which are marketed as alternatives to controlled stimulants.

The report notes that the crisis in Ukraine further increases the uncertainty of the drug situation in Europe. The consequences of conflict can have serious implications for smuggling routes and the functioning of the drug market, as well as for the health care and support needs of drug users fleeing war. “Refugees are likely to experience severe psychological stress that can make them more vulnerable to substance use problems, especially when adequate medical and support services are not available,” the EMCDDA report states.


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