Most of the drugs seized in Sweden are smuggled into the country via the bridge connection with Denmark or through ports or international airports. Some domestic production of cannabis and amphetamines has been reported in Sweden. This is often small-scale or household based, while largescale indoor cultivation of cannabis also takes place and is mainly operated by organised criminal networks.
The Swedish illicit drug market is dominated by cannabis and amphetamines. Cannabis remains the most frequently seized illicit drug. Herbal cannabis available on the market is both produced domestically and smuggled from abroad. Cannabis resin originates mainly from Morocco. In general, herbal cannabis seizures have increased both in number and in quantity in the past decade, while seizures of cannabis resin became less common over the same period.
Although amphetamine remains involved in a substantial number of seizures, the data indicate a declining trend in the amphetamine seizures in the last decade.
Heroin seized in Sweden usually originates in Afghanistan and arrives in Sweden through the Balkan route. Seizures are still few in number, and it appears that the downwards trend in heroin seizures over the period 2006-11 has stabilised at a low level.
Cocaine seized in Sweden originates from South America and is smuggled in through other European countries. The data indicate large annual variations in cocaine seizures in Sweden. MDMA is smuggled from the Netherlands, and in the past 10 years an increase in seizures has been reported.
NPS retain a strong position in the Swedish drug market, and they usually originate from China. In 2015, a significant decrease in seizures of synthetic cannabinoids was observed; at the same time extremely potent fentanyls were reported. The reduction in synthetic cannabinoid seizures is explained by the introduction of legal control and may be a result of increased awareness among the target groups and the general population.
The retail price and purity of the main illicit substances seized are shown below.
Drug seizures in Sweden trends in number of seizures (left) and quantities seized (right)
NB Year of data 2015.
Price and potency/purity ranges of illicit drugs reported in Sweden
NBPrice and potency/purity ranges: EU and national mean values: minimum and maximum. Year of data 2015.