Although the amount of drugs seized in European countries has increased in recent years, the increase in their use continues at an alarming level.
EuropeEspecially in big cities People who take drugsThe probability of encountering him is increasing day by day.
For example, in some central metro stations in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, which is considered the heart of the European Union (EU), people taking drugs without realizing it can be seen day or night in some central metro stations, near the Nord train station or in streets in some areas. Substance abusers, especially at certain points, take drugs regardless of bystanders.
Drug addicts and smugglers can be seen around the Porte de La Chapelle in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, the historic cathedral and central train station in Cologne, or Görlitz Park in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin. Similar images are also very common in the central areas of many large European cities, such as Amsterdam and London.
Addicts often take or inject drugs at entrances to subway stations, abandoned buildings, parks, rooms with automatic teller machines, and even in the middle of the street. Many found these images frightening.
Consumption, which was halted in the Covid-19 pandemic, is rising again
Europe is the largest market for the illegal drug trade with North America. Drug traffickers bring these toxic substances from Latin America to the continent in several ways, especially the Belgian port of Antwerp and the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and gangs distribute them.
Consumption, which decreased very seriously in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has continued to increase as of 2021. This is also reflected in the amount of drugs seized by the security forces. For example, 110 tons of cocaine were seized in Belgium in 2022. This amount shows that the amount of cocaine seized increased by 23% compared to 2021.
The city with the most cocaine use: Antwerp
Various methods are used to screen for drug use in Europe. One of them is the analysis of sewage from sewers. These analyzes measure what type of drug is most used and where.
According to the analysis of the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Addiction (EMCDDA) in 2022, drug use was high in cities in Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, and cocaine use increased in 38 cities.
Antwerp, Belgium, where most of the drug was introduced to Europe, became the city where cocaine was most widely used.
Antwerp was followed by Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Tarragona in Spain, Brussels in Belgium and Zurich in Switzerland.
One third of adults in the European Union use drugs
Despite all efforts to prevent it, the market in which drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, synthetic drugs, and heroin are sold is increasing.
The “European Drug Report 2022” of the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Addiction (EMCDDA) also reveals the grave situation on the continent.
According to the report, 83.4 million or 29 percent of adults in the European Union have used illegal drugs before. Marijuana remains the most widely consumed drug, with more than 22 million Europeans saying they used it in the past year.
Steroids rank second in the most popular category. It is estimated that 3.5 million adults used cocaine, 2.6 million adults used narcotic pills, and 2 million adults used synthetic drugs last year.
Statistics reveal that nearly a million Europeans have illegally used opiates containing heroin or narcotic substances. Although opioids are less commonly used than other drugs, they are still said to be responsible for the largest share of harms associated with illicit use.
The market is growing
The European drug market is expanding to include drug dealers who poison people.
In the EU Drug Reports in 2019, Europeans were reported to spend at least €30 billion on drugs each year, and the size of the market was stated to whet the appetite of EU organized crime groups.
As EMCDDA reports, for example, cocaine is becoming increasingly available in European countries and the market is growing.
The ease of access to cocaine in Europe is currently at an all-time high, and selling prices for the drug are falling. This makes it easier for people to access toxic substances.
European officials state that the cocaine market on the continent will exceed 10 billion euros in 2020. It is reported that the size of this market could reach 12.8 billion euros.
The presence of such a large illegal market also increases crime rates. Competition between drug-trafficking gangs is driving up violent crime in many places, particularly in Western European countries such as Belgium, France, and the Netherlands.
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