Pubdate: Thu, 22 Nov 2007
Source: International Herald-Tribune (International)
Copyright: International Herald Tribune 2007
Referenced: The report
Bookmark: (Marijuana)
Bookmark: (Cocaine)
Bookmark: (Heroin)

EU Report:


Cannabis remains the most widely used drug in Europe, but cocaine
abuse rose sharply last year despite record amounts of the drug being
seized, an annual report by the EU drugs agency said Thursday.

Heroin use and drug injecting were declining, the report said, but the
number of drugs-related deaths remained high at 7,000-8,000 people in
the EU's 27 member states and Norway in 2005, the last year for which
data is available.

An increase of more than 30 percent in lethal overdoses was recorded
in Greece, Austria, Portugal and Finland, the report said.

"Over 7,000 lives lost a year is a compelling indication that we are
not getting it right when it comes to overdose prevention in Europe,"
said Wolfgang Goetz, director of the Lisbon-based European Monitoring
Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

An estimated 4.5 million Europeans were reported to have used cocaine
last year -- an increase of 1 million from the previous year. Some 107
tons of cocaine were seized in 2005, a 45-percent increase on 2004.
Most of the drug was smuggled into Europe through Spain and Portugal.

But young Europeans still have lower experience with cocaine than
young Americans and Canadians, the survey found.

Nearly a quarter of all adults in the EU -- around 70 million -- said
they have tried cannabis at some point in their lives, while 23
million used it last year, the report said. The highest consumption of
cannabis among people under 34 was reported by Spain, the Czech
Republic, France and Italy.

The survey also found 7-18 percent of school kids aged 13 smoked
tobacco daily in the EU countries, while up to 36 percent of students
said they have been drunk at least once.
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake