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Annual report 2008: the state of the drugs problem in Europe NB Embargo 6 November 2008 10:00 CET (Brussels time)

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Presentation on theme: "Annual report 2008: the state of the drugs problem in Europe NB Embargo 6 November 2008 10:00 CET (Brussels time)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Annual report 2008: the state of the drugs problem in Europe NB Embargo 6 November :00 CET (Brussels time)

2 2 Latest on the drugs problem across Europe Overview of the European drug phenomenon in 30 countries Data and analyses: across Europe and by country Latest trends and responses Selected issue: Drugs and vulnerable groups of young people

3 3 A multilingual information package Annual report 2008 in print and online in 23 languages Additional online material oStatistical bulletin oCountry overviews oSelected issue oReitox national reports

4 4 Overview 2008: progress Drug use in Europe entering a more stable phase Amphetamine and ecstasy use: overall steady or declining Cannabis: stronger signals of declining popularity Treatment availability growing (although still insufficient) Common approach: 26 EU Member States, Croatia, Turkey and Norway, have a national drug policy document

5 5 Overview 2008: challenges Warning signs over heroin Problems with synthetic opioids (e.g. fentanyl) High rates of drug-related death Continued increases in cocaine use Innovations on the illicit drug market

6 6 Part I. Opioids, still at heart of our drug problem Estimated 1.3 to 1.7 million problem opioid users (EU + Norway) Heroin: largest drug-related health and social costs In most EU countries, opioid use accounts for between 50 % and 80 % of all treatment demands 80 % of fatal overdoses are associated with opioid use to drug-induced deaths in Europe annually in substitution treatment for opioid use per year

7 7 Warning signs over Europes biggest drug problem Signs of change in heroin and synthetic opioid problem Countries need to be vigilant and prepared to respond Data call into question slowly improving heroin situation reported last year Now a stable, but no longer diminishing, problem But not an epidemic growth in heroin problems as seen in Europe in 1990s

8 8 We cannot ignore… Threat posed by glut of heroin on world market (record Afghan opium production in 2007: tonnes, UNODC) Concerns raised by indicators of heroin use o seizures o treatment demand o drug-related deaths

9 9 Warning signs (i) i. Seizures Number of heroin seizures increased by over 10 % in most reporting countries (2003–06) Quantity of heroin seized in Turkey, an important transit country, more than doubled in this period Overall, heroin seizures reached an estimated 19.4 tonnes ( seizures) in Europe in 2006

10 10 Warning signs (ii) ii. New demands for treatment Increased in around half of the countries reporting data in 2006 (primary drug: heroin) New recruitment to heroin use is still occurring New injectors: large proportions (20 %) in some countries Young injectors: large proportions (40 %) of injectors under 25 in some studies

11 11 Proportion of young and new injectors in samples of injecting drug users (Chapter 6, Figure 9)

12 12 Warning signs (iii) iii. Drug-induced deaths Heroin is the drug most associated with drug-related deaths, but other opioids are also reported After falling deaths (2000–03), now a static or growing problem: most countries report rises since 2003 Average age of those dying from overdose = mid-30s, but some countries report a high proportion of overdose deaths among the under-25s

13 13 Indexed long-term trend in drug-induced deaths in the EU 15 Member States and Norway, 1985 = 100 (Figure DRD-8)

14 14 Proportion of drug-induced deaths occurring under the age of 25 (Figure DRD-2)

15 15 One death per hour One of our young citizens dies every hour from an overdose that could have been avoided Need to prioritise overdose prevention measures and target high-risk groups (e.g. those leaving prison or relapsing after treatment) Reducing drug-related deaths is an explicit goal of most national drug strategies

16 16 Problems related to synthetic opioids Indications of growing problems caused by availability of 3-methylfentanyl Fentanyl is considerably more potent than heroin Over 70 fentanyl-related deaths in Estonia (2006) Methadone is identified in the toxicological reports of some deaths in Europe

17 17 Part II. Stimulants Stimulant drugs such as amphetamines, ecstasy and cocaine 2nd most commonly consumed drug type in Europe today, after cannabis But within this group, data reveal a very mixed picture in terms of prevalence, trends and market developments

18 18 Lifetime prevalence Some 12 million Europeans (15–64 years) have tried cocaine in their lifetime 11 million for amphetamines 9.5 million for ecstasy Stabilising or even declining trend in the use of amphetamines and ecstasy But continued rise in cocaine use, albeit in a limited number of countries

19 19 Amphetamines and ecstasy: situation stable Around 2 million young Europeans (15–34 years) have tried amphetamines in the last year and 2.5 million have tried ecstasy Stable/falling trends in last-year amphetamine use in this group since 2003; on average 1.3 % of young adults report annual use Last-year ecstasy use also largely steady over the last five years; on average 1.8 % of young adults report annual use School surveys (Czech Republic, Spain, Sweden, UK) show stable situation or decline in the use of both drugs among 15–16-year-olds

20 20 Trends in last-year use of amphetamines among young adults (15–34 years), measured by population surveys ( Figure GPS-8, i)

21 21 Trends in last-year prevalence of amphetamines, ecstasy and cocaine among young adults (15–34 years) in the United Kingdom (E&W) (Figure GPS-23, i)

22 22 Trends in last-year prevalence of amphetamines, ecstasy and cocaine among young adults (15–34 years) in Denmark (Figure GPS-23, ii)

23 23 Cocaine use continues to rise Around 3.5 million young Europeans (15–34 years) have used cocaine in the last year Around 1.5 million in the last month Seven countries report a rising trend in last-year use in recent surveys (2005–07) In high-prevalence countries (Denmark, Spain, Ireland, Italy, UK) last-year prevalence figures (15–34 years) ranged from around 3 % to 5.5 %

24 24 Trends in last-year prevalence of cocaine among young adults (15–34 years) measured by population surveys (Figure GPS-14, i)

25 25 Cocaine treatment and deaths Upward trend in treatment demand for cocaine problems continues 2002–06: number of new clients in Europe demanding such treatment rose from around to almost Some 500 deaths associated with cocaine use were registered in 2006

26 26 Europes divided stimulant market Cocaine dominates the illicit stimulant market in the west and south of Europe, but elsewhere use and availability are low In most northern, central and eastern Member States, amphetamines are the prevailing stimulant Use of methamphetamine still limited in the EU to the Czech Republic and Slovakia Cocaine and amphetamines: competing products on the European illicit drug market? A holistic approach to stimulants is needed (rather than focusing on individual substances)

27 27 Chapter 4: The European stimulant market

28 28 Part III. Cannabis Around 71 million Europeans (15–64 years) have tried cannabis in their lifetime and around 7 % (23 million) in the last year Around 17.5 million young Europeans (15–34 years) are estimated to have used cannabis in the last year, on average 13 % of young adults

29 29 Stronger signals of declining popularity Stronger signals that popularity may be waning, reinforcing analysis in last years report Latest national survey data on last-year cannabis use among young adults reveal a stabilisation or decline Lifetime and heavy cannabis use among 15-year-old school students in most EU countries also stable or declining (HBSC surveys) Downward trend is visible in population surveys in some high-prevalence countries

30 30 Trends in last-year prevalence of cannabis use among young adults (15–34 years), measured by population surveys. (Figure GPS-4, i)

31 31 Changes between 2001/02 and 2005/06 in prevalence of ever-in-lifetime cannabis use among school students 15–16 years (HBSC) (Figure EYE-5)

32 32 Changes between 2001/02 and 2005/06 in prevalence of heavy cannabis use among school students 15–16 years (HBSC) (Figure EYE-4)

33 33 Regular and intensive cannabis use Trends in this type of use may move independently of prevalence among the general population Some 4 million European adults (15–64 years) use cannabis on a daily or almost daily basis Among the estimated new demands for treatment for drug problems reported in 2006, cannabis clients formed 2nd largest group (28 %)

34 34 Proportion of new clients entering treatment by primary drug in 2006 in 24 EU Member States (Figure TDI-2, i)

35 35 Part IV. Dynamic markets: cocaine trafficking Drug supply into and inside Europe is evolving West Africa, a major hub: almost a quarter of the cocaine entering Europe in 2007 came via this route (UNODC estimate) This route is thought to have contributed to bolstering the role of the Iberian peninsula as key entry point into the EU Of the 121 tonnes of cocaine seized in Europe in 2006, 41 % was intercepted in Spain, 28 % in Portugal Recent reports of cocaine importation via east European countries could herald development of new trafficking routes

36 36 Dynamic markets: domestic cannabis production Domestic production: May no longer be considered as marginal in some countries Cannabis resin, mostly from Morocco, historically the dominant product in the EU In some countries, a switch from resin to locally-grown herbal cannabis is now reported Some 2.3 million cannabis plants seized in Europe (2006) Local production, raises new challenges for law-enforcement

37 37 Dynamic markets: online shops Over 200 psychoactive substances are advertised by online shops, often as legal highs (e.g. salvia divinorum) But in some countries contents are covered by the same laws as controlled drugs, and may incur penalties Most of the shops identified were in the UK and the Netherlands (+ to a lesser extent, Germany and Austria) The number of these online retailers appears to be growing and they adapt quickly to new controls

38 38 Part V: Drugs and vulnerable groups of young people EU countries increasingly prioritise 'vulnerable groups' in their drug and social policies to reduce risks of drug use problems where they are most likely to occur Knowing the profiles of these groups and where they are found can be a key entry-point for drug prevention strategies and interventions Examples: young people in government care, in disadvantaged families or neighbourhoods, early school leavers A visible gap between political will and practical implementation Preference for office-based ('come') services over outreach work

39 39 Providing an evidence base Europe now stands out as one of the parts of the world where drug monitoring capacities are most developed Evidence-based information on todays drug situation is essential for an informed, productive and reasoned debate on this complex issue It ensures that opinions are enlightened by facts, and that policy-makers have a clear understanding of the options available This is rationale behind the work of the EMCDDA and its Annual report

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