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European Drug Report 2015 - Key Findings and Trends
New trends in the novel psychoactive substance (NPS) market, Cannabis use, and shifting patterns in heroin prevalence are among the issues highlighted in the European Drug Report 2015: Trends and Developments. The annual report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) was released on June 6th (European Drug Report 2015: Trends and Developments).
Key Findings and Trends:
  • Cannabis remains the most commonly used drug in Europe with 23.3% of people aged 16-64 report having used it at least once in their lifetime. The report said that the drug accounts for 80% of all drug seizures in the EU and 60% of reported drug offenses. The types of Cannabis seized were herbal Cannabis (49%),  Cannabis resin (28%), and Cannabis plants (3%). 

  • During 2014, a total of 101 NPS drugs were reported for the first time to the EU Early Warning System: 31 cathinones, 30 cannabinoids, 9 phenethylamines, 5 opioids, 5 tryptamines, 4 benzodiazepines, 4 arylalkylamines, and 13 substances that do not conform to these groups. This number of NPS drugs reported for the first time in 2014  represented an increase of 25% compared with 2013.   

  • Cocaine is the second most widely used substance with 4.6% of Europeans reporting having used it at least once.

  • Heroin and other opioid use in Europe appears to be declining. However, heroin and other opioids continue to be associated with a majority of drug-related deaths.

  • The potency and purity of heroin, cocaine, and MDMA products have increased in Europe over the past two years. In countries where purity increases have been observed, deaths associated with their use have also increased, it is unclear however, if the two trends are linked.
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