European Drug Report 2016 – Trends and developments was launched on 31st May by European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.
The report is based on information provided to the EMCDDA by the EU Member States, the candidate country Turkey, and Norway in the form of a national reporting package.
The purpose of the current report is to provide an overview and summary of the European drug situation and responses to it. The report examines: drug supply and the market; drug use prevalence and trends; and drug-related health problems and responses to them, and integrating this situational analysis with information on drug policies and practice.
This year’s analysis once more highlights how Europe increasingly faces a more complex drug problem, in which stimulants, new psychoactive substances, misused medicines and problematic cannabis use all play a greater part.
Europe’s opioids problem remains a central issue in the 2016 analysis, reflecting the significant impact these drugs still have on mortality and morbidity. We see now an increasingly complex relationship between use of heroin and synthetic opioids, accompanied by a worrying increase in overall estimates of opioid-related deaths. Treatment services in Europe also now have to respond to the more complex health needs presented by an ageing cohort of heroin users, and policymakers wrestle with the difficult question of what constitutes the most appropriate long-term therapeutic goals for this group.
The 2016 European Drug Report says there are clear indications that ecstasy – the common name of MDMA – is returning to popularity with both established drug users and a new generation, but this time powders and tablets are likely to contain much higher doses than in previous years.
Inclusion in this year’s report was of additional city-level information from European research networks, which complements national data in the areas of wastewater analysis and drug-related hospital emergencies and enriches our understanding of both drug consumption patterns and harms across Europe.
The European position emphasized the value of a balanced and evidence-based approach grounded in a strong commitment for human rights. In our view, one of the reasons that Europe can speak with authority in this debate is the fact that there is a commitment to understanding the changing nature of the problems we face and to critically assessing what works.
European Drug Report is available in pdf in 24 languages. Report in English available here.