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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Drug use in Europe back to pre-pandemic levels


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The (illegal) drug use in Europe has returned to the same level as before the corona pandemic. This is reported by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction EMCDDA in a new report.

The research shows that the drug trade was at a low ebb during the corona crisis due to the corona restrictions in force in European countries. For example, it was difficult to travel, the nightlife came to a standstill and large parties were not allowed at home either. However, sewer and drug user surveys show that narcotic use is back to normal levels and that the upward trend from pre-pandemic appears to be continuing.

Drug use is also higher in the Netherlands than ever before. For example, sewage water analyses in Utrecht, Amsterdam and Eindhoven show that cocaine was in circulation much more in 2021 than a year earlier. In addition, the report shows that the Netherlands is one of the five European countries where cocaine is used the most. In 2020, authorities were able to intercept no less than 213 tons of drugs, a quarter of which were destined for the Netherlands.

When it comes to the use of ecstasy and amphetamine, the Netherlands is even in first place. According to the National Drug Monitor, the former is the most commonly used drug in the Netherlands after cannabis. For example, more than half of the young people in the nightlife in 2020 have used ecstasy at some point. It is not known how often people use ecstasy or amphetamine, or what effect their use has on their health.

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