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2015 drug report: cannabis still popular in Europe, heroin use declining

Jun 17, 2015 | News

(17 June) – Europe is an important market for drugs, supported by both domestic production and drugs trafficked from elsewhere, according to the 2015 report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) published today.

Cannabis continues to be the most commonly used drug in Europe. 23.3% of people aged 16-64 have used it at least once in their lifetime and almost 1% uses it daily.

Cocaine, used mostly on weekends and holidays, is the second most widely used substance with 4.6% of people having used it at least once. In 2013, about 78,000 seizures totalling 63 tonnes of cocaine were reported in the EU.

The use of heroin and other opioids remains relatively rare and even appears to be declining. In Europe there are currently believed to be 1.3 million problem users. EMCDDA defines problem use as “injecting use of drugs or prolonged/regular use of opiates, cocaine and/or amphetamines”.

Some 3.5% of people have used amphetamines at least once in their life. They are produced in Europe for domestic use, although some of them are also produced for export.

New drugs are detected at a rate of two per week. In 2014, 101 psychoactive substances were detected for the first time and 450 substances are monitored now, but the better-known drugs are still heavily used.

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