Drugs are back in the EU: “Everywhere. All. Everybody’

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Drug trafficking and consumption in the European Union is returning to pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest report released by the bloc’s drug agency on Tuesday.

As COVID-19 related restrictions and increased border controls have been eased across the continent, the EMCDDA said drugs are available in large quantities across the region, and in some cases above levels. pre-pandemic.

Hundreds of drug production labs are dismantled and new psychoactive substances are appearing in the block every week. In 2021, 52 new drugs were reported for the first time, the agency said.

“For me, the take-home message that emerges from our analysis of drug trends in 2022 can be summed up as ‘Everywhere. All. Everybody,'” the agency’s director, Alexis Goosdeel, said.

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It is estimated that around 83.4 million people aged 15-64 in the EU, or 29% of this population, have ever used an illicit drug, with more men than women reporting having used it.

The agency said cannabis remains the most popular substance, with more than 22 million people reporting its use in 2021, ahead of cocaine, MDMA and amphetamines. Some 1 million Europeans used heroin or another illicit opioid. An estimated 5,800 overdose deaths occurred in the EU in 2020, the most recent year for which this figure was provided.

The report highlighted increased use of social media apps and encrypted messaging services to access products during the pandemic, a pattern that is expected to persist.

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The agency said last month that record amounts of cocaine were being seized in Europe as manufacturing of the drug now took place in the EU.

While the agency said it was too early to assess the impact on heroin trafficking of the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan, the agency noted that it could lead to an increase. According to the report, poppy cultivation continues in the country despite a ban on production and sale.

“The country’s current financial problems could make drug revenue a more important source of income,” the report said.

The report also examined the war in Ukraine, noting that the conflict could have consequences for smuggling routes.

RESEARCHER: YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE PSYCHOLOGICALLY STABLE TO RECEIVE THESE DRUGS

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