Cocaine is the most widely used illegal drug in the European Union, according to the 2018 European Drug Report by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). And its use is increasing.
More than 92 million adults in EU member states, Norway and Turkey have tried an illicit drug, with around 1.6 million of those receiving treatment for drug use, according to the report. The figures used in the report are from 2016.
As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, the increase in cocaine’s use in Europe is largely due to the increased production of the drug in Latin American countries. Although prices have remained stable, the drugs’ purity has improved, making it more dangerous.
“Early warnings from wastewater analysis about rising cocaine availability are now supported by other data suggesting growing supply, including increases in purity and in the number and quantity of cocaine seizures,” said EMCDDA’s director, Alexis Goosdeel.
According to EMCDDA’s report, there was an increase of cocaine residue in the wastewater of 26 out of 31 European cities surveyed in the last three years. Cities in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Britain showed the highest concentrations.
The number of cocaine seizures has also risen, with around 98,000 incidents reported in the EU in 2016, compared with 90,000 in 2015 reported DW.