Thursday, April 04, 2024

The Drug Map of Europe

Cocaine use has been increasing rapidly in Europe over the last seven years. Europeans are also taking more MDMA and ketamine. Every year the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) undertakes an annual wastewater drug survey in order to evaluate trends in the consumption of 'recreational' drugs. By analyzing residues of different recreational drugs in sewage the EMCDDA are able to detect trends in the drug-taking habits of residents in cities across Europe. 

Using the interactive map in the 2023 Wastewater analysis and drugs - a European multi-city study you can explore for yourself the levels of cocaine, cannabis, amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA and ketamine detected in around 90 European towns and cities. According to the EMCDDA report "cocaine use remains highest in western and southern European cities". The highest levels of amphetamine use are in cities in the north and east of Europe. The highest levels of cannabis use were detected in Czechia, Spain, the Netherlands and Slovenia.

According to the EMCDDA cannabis is Europe's most commonly used illicit drug. The EMCDDA has been analyzing dug levels in wastewater since 2011 so it is also able to detect trends in drug use over time. For example in 2023 20 cities out of 51 saw an increase in cannabis in wastewater samples compared to 2022, and 15 cities saw a decrease. Cocaine use in Europe has seen a steady increase since 2016. 

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