Bulgaria Country Drug Report 2018

Drug markets

Bulgaria, which is situated on the Balkan route, is considered a transit country for illicit drugs, with trafficking activity shaped by supply and demand in Western European and Middle Eastern countries. In addition, the cultivation of cannabis, which is mainly carried out indoors, and some production of synthetic stimulants are consistently reported. The available information suggests that cannabis grown in Bulgaria may also be smuggled to other EU countries. Amphetamines are reported to be the main stimulants produced, albeit at a small scale and for domestic use.

Cannabis products are the most frequently seized drugs in Bulgaria, followed by heroin. However, the amounts of substances that are seized fluctuate from year to year and, in 2016, herbal cannabis and cannabis resin, heroin, cocaine and amphetamine were seized in quantities that were higher than those reported in 2015. New psychoactive substances (NPS) continue to be seized in Bulgaria. In 2016, a total of 15 NPS were detected in Bulgaria for the first time, most of which were synthetic cannabinoids.

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Methodological note: Analysis of trends is based only on those countries providing sufficient data to describe changes over the period specified. The reader should also be aware that monitoring patterns and trends in a hidden and stigmatised behaviour like drug use is both practically and methodologically challenging. For this reason, multiple sources of data are used for the purposes of analysis in this report. Caution is therefore required in interpretation, in particular when countries are compared on any single measure. Detailed information on methodology and caveats and comments on the limitations in the information set available can be found in the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin.