Illegal Drug Use in the European Union

in Substance Abuse

According to a 2014 report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), over 80 million people living in Europe are estimated to have used an illegal drug at some point in their lives. The number of people who have tried an illegal drug represents about a quarter of the adult population in the EU.

The most used illicit drug in Europe was marijuana, with 73.6 Million people stating that they tried it at least once in their lifetimes. In the most recent year measured (2012), the report stated that 18.1 million used marijuana. A total of 2,000 tonnes of marijuana and hashish is consumed in the EU each year.

The second most used drug in Europe was cocaine, with 14.1 million people using it in their lifetime. 3.1 million people used it in 2012. Based on analysis of raw sewage, investigators in Europe estimated that 1,800 pounds (832 Kilograms) of cocaine were consumed daily in Europe Cities.

The third most used drug in Europe was amphetamines, with 11.4 million users who used it in their lifetimes and 1.5 million users in 2012.

There were 31,000 new opioid users in Europe, with about 1.3 million problem users.

Heroin caused 6,100 overdose deaths in Europe in 2012, while cocaine overdose caused some 500 deaths.

Source:  AFP, “Prescription, synthetic drug abuse worry EU watchdog,” GlobalPost, May 27, 2014.

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