Wednesday, April 05, 2023

The Drug Map of Europe

According to German newspaper Tagesspiegel drug use in Europe is on the rise again after a brief lull during the Covid pandemic. The paper has used data from the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) to map evidence of the levels of drug use in 104 cities across Europe. You can view the results in the paper's article Drug Analysis in 104 Cities

Tagesspiegel's map shows the levels of different drug residues found in the sewage wastewater in each of the sampled cities. The EMCDDA analysis tested for six different types of recreational drug residues: cocaine, crystal meth, MDMA, cannabis, amphetamines and ketamine. The map allows you to observe the levels of residues found for each drug in each of the 104 European cities.

The map reveals that crystal meth is a growing problem in east Germany and the Czech Republic (if you click on a map marker you can view graphs showing the measured levels of each drug in that city over time). Across Europe cocaine use seems to rising, while use of MDMA is falling.

As well as the interactive map Tagesspiegel has created an interactive chart which allows you to view which cities recorded the largest and smallest levels of each drug. Amsterdam had the highest levels of MDMA residues found in its wastewater. Barcelona appears to be the ketamine capital of Europe. Cannabis was highest in Geneva. Antwerp had the highest recorded levels of cocaine. Gävle in Sweden had the highest levels of amphetamines, and Ostrava in the Czech Republic is the city with the largest crystal meth use.

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