European Population and its Drug Problem, a 2022 overview –


Being current throughout European international locations and in direct contact within the streets, markets, any type of outlets, associations, faculties, administrations, and businesses, with the youth, dad and mom and the populations at massive provides the appropriate and goal information on how the European inhabitants perceives and behave dealing with the drug downside.

This extents from:

-the younger woman who was smoking with buddies a “joint” of hashish for ten years earlier than she realised that her behaviour was slowly altering,

-the determined previous mom whose son goes to the capturing room as a substitute of the rehabilitation centre,

-the father who on the info-stand, in entrance of his teenage daughter, testified that driving after a celebration with buddies, he had been examined drug optimistic by the police, misplaced his driving license after which realised his wrong-doing and hardly stopped the drug use, 

-the monitor of a driving college who had college students beneath drug affect, to be much less pressured,

-school professors are comfortable to have entry to academic supplies on medicine to enlighten their college students,

-an hospital nurse in favour of drug prevention actions as a substitute of this “hurt discount”,

-school professors asking for lectures on medicine to their college students and having fun with their optimistic suggestions,

-this former cocaine consumer who defined the hell he needed to undergo earlier than getting out of the dependancy and the way good he feels now,

-and many extra… in regards to the dangerous results and dreadful outcomes of drug use, in accordance with these phrases from Ron Hubbard within the sixties:

Analysis demonstrates that the one most damaging component current in our present tradition is medicine”.


All these individuals have a standard viewpoint relating to drug use: they didn’t know after they began how harming the medicine could possibly be and that they had been by no means advised in regards to the dwindling spiral they had been participating into, “in any other case they’ll by no means begin within the first place”. And alcohol is a part of the image, beginning with the adolescents and the binge-drinkings !

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floor hashish on clear plastic bag

That is in the midst of the final century, popularised by the Beat Era, the Hippie motion and artists that began the rock tradition of drug experimentation similar to with the Beatles (Day Tripper-1965, Lucy within the Sky with Diamonds-LSD-1967); Jimmy Hendrix (Purple Haze-Hashish-1970); J.J. Cale (Cocaine-1976); Eric Clapton the guitar legend hooked on heroin within the 1970, the film actors as Marilyn Monroe (died in 1962 at age 36 of an overdose), Judy Garland in 1969, and Bruce Lee in 1973, and so forth., additionally writers as William Burroughs (Junkie-1953, heroin), Aldous Huxley (The Doorways of Notion-1954, mescaline), Jack Kerouac, a Beat author (On The Street-1957, benzedrine), Hunter S. Thompson (Concern and Loathing-1972, all medicine), Stephen King, Paulo Coelho…, that the leisure use of medicine turned the image of the youth rebel, rebellion, protest and social upheaval, and of political dissent. And since then, drug use has drastically elevated, pervading all society ranges.

Immediately, within the 2022 Drug Report of the European Monitoring Middle for Medicine and Drug Dependancy (EMCDDA), the Director summarised the drug traits by: “In every single place, All the pieces, Everybody”. Certainly, well being, training, the justice system, social welfare, economic system, political system, governments, and communities are involved by the drug downside, and in its wake are discovered: struggle, corruption, crime, distress, and misplaced lives.                                           

As well as, inside the EU (European Union), EMCDDA studies that drug issues intrude with and complicate the decision of different important points similar to homelessness, the administration of psychiatric problems and self-harm (suicide), the discount of youth criminality, the exploitation of susceptible individuals in the meantime higher ranges of violence and corruption are noticed.


Throughout the EU the EMCDDA (Report 2022) estimated that some 83.4 million or 29% of the individuals aged 15 to 64 have used illicit medicine within the final 12 months,  in comparison with the 284 million individuals worldwide (UNODC Report 2022).

In Europe:

  • the hashish is essentially the most extensively utilized by 22.2 million individuals (584 tonnes of resin and 155 tonnes of natural had been seized in 2020 );
  • then the stimulants with 3.5 million of cocaine customers (213 tonnes had been seized in 2020). An elevated use of crack cocaine is famous in Belgium, Eire, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Germany. In 2021, the very best a great deal of crack cocaine residues within the waste waters of 13 European cities had been present in Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Antwerp (Belgium);
  • 2.6 million of individuals are MDMA (ecstasy) customers;
  • 2 million for amphetamines, and,
  • 1 million of heroin or opioid customers. Opioids account for the higher hurt within the illicit drug use and are current in 74% of the deadly overdoses reported.

Is famous that individuals with drug issues use a variety of illicit substances, medicinal merchandise and different non-controlled psychoactive substances.

In the course of the COVID-19 measures and restrictions, the European illicit drug market reacted quick with a fast bounce again in drug provide and use, returning to a business-as-usual mannequin.

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In consequence, it’s estimated that some 6 500 overdose deaths (imply age of 41 years) occurred within the prolonged European Union in 2020. They’re on account of polydrug toxicity, illicit opioids and medicines (similar to benzodiazepines, methadone, buprenorphine, oxycodone, fentanyl) and alcohol. There are additionally indicators of elevated hurt amongst younger individuals with the usage of hallucinogenic and dissociative medicine similar to ketamine, GBL (industrial solvent, addictive) and GHB (a robust sedative) each generally known as “rape medicine” and the nitrous oxide (N2O-the laughing fuel can change into a neurotoxic with repeated makes use of).       

Dealing with medicine, the younger individuals are essentially the most susceptible. They’re uncovered to medicine sooner than ever on account of their straightforward availability, the aggressive promotions, the multiplication of outlets and sellers, the improvements within the digital illicit drug market and above all the shortage of factual information, info and training on the topic ! That is crystal clear when speaking throughout Europe with youth, college students and even dad and mom, themselves desirous to know extra on the harming results of medicine, to give you the option having details to dialogue effectively with their younger kids and educate them preventively on this topic.


First, we have to remember the fact that the pure medicine discovered both in vegetation or small animals are secondary metabolites, poisons, whose solely perform is to guard them towards predators -including people!- thus guaranteeing the survival of the species.

Then, all of the psychoactive medicine/substances are fat-soluble (liposoluble). The human mind is a nicely blood-irrigated organ which accommodates practically 60% of lipids (dry weight). This explains that the psychoactive medicine are in a position to cross quick the hemato-encephalic barrier and intrude with the discharge/reuptake of the neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) within the neurons of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) a part of the complicated “reward and pleasure system” within the mesolimbic space of the mind. The NAc can also be concerned within the reinforcement features (Bassareo and Di Chiara, 1999) for meals search and incentive motivation on the origin of the dependancy downside by self-administration. So, any substance that modifies the DA launch/reuptake is a candidate for abuse. 

The primary traits of a drug as a psychoactive substance, apart from the toxicity and dependence, are the alteration of perceptions, the capability to assume, reminiscence and of the state of consciousness. This final level (alteration) isn’t legitimate for tobacco smoking. Notice nonetheless that in Europe, 9 out of 10 lung cancers are brought on by tobacco resulting in the European Fee’s Beating Most cancers Plan (June 2022).


To control the event and the provision of the drug, the Worldwide Drug Management Conventions of 1961, 1971 and 1988, and the Conference on the Rights of the Little one (1989), had been ratified. The safety of the populations within the EU is subjected to the European Social Constitution (1961 & 1996), the Constitution of Basic Rights (2000/C 364/01) and for the youth to the European Constitution of the Rights of the Little one ( 1979, Rec.874 – 17.4 b).

Regardless of these Conventions and Charters, regardless of the Europol, South Eeast Legislation Enforcement Middle, Frontex, Customs, and different businesses, medicine are circulating in full illegality.

The energetic pro-drug legalisation organisations are omitting to be taught from the catastrophic well being outcomes after marijuana legalisation in international locations as States of Colorado and Washington (2012), Massachusetts (2013) in USA, Uruguay (2013) and in Canada (2018) with now 21% of addicted. It is a good enterprise for pharmaceutical companies and the psychological well being sector.

“Alcohol and nicotine present poor fashions for legalisation. The tax revenues reaped from these medicine are dwarfed by their social and well being prices. The identical is true for marijuana and some other unlawful drug” feedback the Institute for Conduct and Well being (USA).

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Too many European politicians/governments are beneath the highly effective lobbying of organisations and companies with vested pursuits within the manufacturing and/or sale of medicine (or precursors). Certainly, they by no means contemplate the following prices generated by unlawful drug and alcohol abuse.

Just for hospital-based remedy in then 21 EU member states, this was estimated in response to a 2014 research (Lievens D. et al) to be 7.6 BILLION euros.

However there are additionally expenditures for hurt discount, capturing rooms with docs, nurses and provides, berthings, extra accidents within the workplaces, on the highway (25% by drivers beneath alcohol affect and 15% for different medicine), misdemeanours and crimes, college droppings, numerous associated sicknesses, to say just a few. And all these in fact supported by the taxpayers!

A optimistic level from the European Fee is the implementation of the brand new EU Medicine Technique 2020-2025 with: “… the goals to make sure a excessive degree of well being promotion, social stability and safety and contribute to consciousness elevating” in addition to for the 2021-2030 EU Technique on Street Security regarding all unlawful psychoactive substances, together with alcohol.


Immediately, when the THC (psychoactive substance) of the hashish resin reaches 21% and within the natural 11%, prevention is greater than ever wanted to assist to keep away from the early initiation of drug use with the linked well being and psychological problems and the additional reaches to different medicine.

“Care begins with evidence-based prevention and addressing perceptions and misperceptions of threat, together with by taking a tough take a look at the message our societies are sending to younger individuals.” stated the UNODC Government Director within the World Drug Report 2022.

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Photograph by Blaz Erzetic

The important thing level is to preventively elevate the notice of the youth and fogeys on what medicine are and do. “It’s ignorance that blinds and misleads us. Open your eyes, O depressing mortals!”  stated Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519).

And this begins in school at an early age till ideally the twenties with an age-adapted training on the drug topic included in class curricula. And as “It Takes a complete village to coach a baby” (an previous African proverb), this training should additionally contain the households, all of the group leaders, official organisations and authorities, and youth associations, with the care and financial assist of the States, and with nobody left behind.

“By closing faculties, you’ll open prisons, stated the writer-humanist Victor Hugo, let’s do the other!

Educate and Inform

Educate and inform: that is what, as like-minded associations, the Basis for a Drug-Free Europe and its hundred of Say No To Medicine associations and teams, with the assist of the Basis for a Drug-Free World, are doing throughout Europe with their prevention marketing campaign named “The Reality About Medicine.

The drug downside isn’t a fatality and the “struggle on medicine” isn’t but misplaced! “The one factor crucial for evil to triumph is for good individuals to do nothing, stated Edmund Burke (1729-1797).

Get educated on medicine too, to dwell a cheerful life with targets achievement! 

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