In Europe, cannabis is the most used drug and is increasingly powerful. The European Agency report

In Europe, cannabis is the most used drug and is increasingly powerful. The European Agency report
In Europe, cannabis is the most used drug and is increasingly powerful. The European Agency report

Also on the market It is on consumption of the drug pandemic had a devastating impact. But drug traffickers have adjusted to travel restrictions and border closures, and consumption that seemed likely to decline has remained stable after the slowdown in measures. And in the case of cannabis, the most widely used drug in Europe, there has also been an enhancement of the active ingredient. In the 2021 Report of the European Drugs Agency, presented today in Lisbon, which compared the 2020 reports of 29 countries, 27 Member States plus Turkey and Norway, we read that in the pThere has been less consumer interest during periods of lockdown for substances usually associated with recreational events (e.g. ecstasy) as people stayed at home, but analysis of wastewater samples (available for some European cities) indicates that consumption of most drugs have returned to their usual values ​​after the reduction of the restrictive measures during the summer of 2020.

About 83 million adults, or 28.9%, (aged 15 to 64) in‘European Union it is estimated in the report that they have used illicit drugs at least once in their life and that 17.4 million young adults (aged 15 to 34) have done so in the last year (16.9%), with about double of males (21.6%) versus women (12.1%) who reported having done so.
More than 400 were detected in 2019 new psychoactive substances on the drug market in Europe, especially the “new powerful synthetic cannabinoids and new synthetic opioids”, while at the end of 2020 the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction monitored about 830 new psychoactive substances, 46 of which were reported for the first time in Europe in 2020. European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said that “the highly pure and potent substances” found in the countries surveyed are of particular concern. Illegal use of drugs in general, he warned, poses risks to the environment, health and safety of the EU. The issue “corrupts the fabric of our society, fueling violence and putting the health and safety of our citizens at risk”.

The cannabis it continues to be the most used drug in Europe: its consumption is about 5 times that of other substances. But the cannabis resin sold in the Old Continent on the illicit market is now more potent than before, with a Thc content (active ingredient) on average between 20% and 28%, almost double that of cannabis herbs, while products containing cannabis extracts but with low Thc levels are sold in the commercial network. Levels of ‘lifetime’ cannabis use vary widely between countries, from around 4% of adults in Malta to 45% in France. The report raises specific concerns aboutmisuse of benzodiazepines, which are prescribed for the treatment of anxiety but have been linked to poisoning and deaths from unauthorized use. The production of amphetamine and methamphetamine is on the rise, the report says. Cannabis availability did not decline during the pandemic, according to preliminary data from 2020. Cannabis use remained stable at high levels, as authorities across Europe seized a record 235 tonnes of cocaine in 2019, compared to 195 tons of the previous year.

The cocaine it remains the second most widely used illicit drug in Europe and consumer demand makes it a profitable portion of Europe’s drug trafficking for crime. Over the past decade, the purity of cocaine has increased and the number of people undergoing treatment for the first time has grown over the past 5 years. These and other indicators point to the possibility of an increase in cocaine problems. The production of amphetamines, the second most consumed stimulant in Europe after cocaine, occurs near consumer markets in the European Union and is mainly concentrated in the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland. Europe remains an important source of MDMA-based products they supply
the world market.

Although roadside retail drug trafficking was affected during early lockdowns and decreased availability was reported in some areas, drug sellers and buyers have adapted. increasing the use of encrypted messaging services, social media applications, online sources, and mail and home delivery services. This indicates – it is explained that a long-term impact of the pandemic could be the further digitization of drug markets. A market that has proved resilient, dynamic and able to adapt quickly.

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