Well, it’s that time of year again: time for the annual European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction report on the drug habits of the continent.
Though dense, the highlight of the report is surely the dramatic surge of ecstasy use, especially amongst people ages 15 – 34. In that demographic, some 2.1 million people have admitted to using the drug over the course of the past year, up by 300K from the year before. Additionally, it has been noted the MDMA/Ecstasy use is making its way out of its traditional haunts of nightclubs and, instead, used in “in a wide range of nightlife settings,” per the report.
In Europe, 9 out of 12 countries report increased Ecstasy usage with Britain coming in at #2 and Netherlands coming in at #1 (with 3.5% of the population and 5.5% of the population admitting to use, respectively). Such news comes as a concern and the reasons are two-fold. Firstly, since the mid-2000s, 2016 has seen the first year of increased ecstasy usage and, secondly, the purity of the drug is at its highest point ever, leading to increased instances of hospitalizations and death.
Aside from MDMA/Ecstasy, synthetic drug usage has also become a point of concern, specifically around synthetic opioids and cannabinoids. Further findings include the maintenance of Marijuana/Cannabis as the continents most popular drug (9.3 billion euros annual retail value), while also accounting for nearly 3/4 of EU drug related offences.
Read the full report from the EMCDDA HERE