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Drugnet Europe

News from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction


EMCDDA Annual report 2012 highlights

Europe is faced with an increasingly complex stimulant market, in which consumers are confronted with a wide variety of powders and pills. While cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines continue to be the main players on the stimulant scene, they are now competing with a growing number of emerging synthetic drugs, such as cathinones, one of the largest new drug groups being reported in Europe today. Full article >>

Enhancing coordination and cooperation

The drug situation in Europe remains a major policy challenge. The use of illicit substances continues to undermine public health, inflicting damage not only on individuals, but also on their families and the communities in which they live. The Annual report 2012 highlights the many challenges Europe faces in addressing this complex phenomenon. Full article >>

Further signs of MDMA making a comeback on the ‘ecstasy’ market

Around 11.5 million Europeans (15–64 years) have tried ‘ecstasy’ in their lifetime, around 2 million in the last year. Data presented in the Annual report confirm last year’s analysis that MDMA — the best-known member of the ‘ecstasy’ group of drugs — is making a comeback. This follows a shortage of MDMA in recent years when tablets sold as ‘ecstasy’ often contained other substances (e.g. mCPP, BZP, mephedrone). Full article >>

4-MA — new amphetamine-type stimulant under scrutiny in the wake of deaths

Europe has responded to rising concern over the use of the stimulant drug 4-methylamphetamine (4-MA) by formally requesting a risk assessment on the substance. The exercise will be carried out in Lisbon on 16 November by the EMCDDA Scientific Committee with experts from the European Commission, Europol and the European Medicines Agency. Currently, the substance is not controlled under drug control legislation in most of the EU Member States. Full article >>

Methamphetamine makes further inroads into Europe’s stimulant market

Use of amphetamines (a term encompassing amphetamine and methamphetamine) remains overall lower than that of cocaine in Europe. Around 13 million Europeans (15–64 years) have tried amphetamines in their lifetime, around 2 million in the last year. Latest trend data presented in the Annual report show last-year use of amphetamines among young adults (15–34 years) to be overall stable or declining. Full article >>

Over 50 new drugs already detected in 2012

The Annual report shows how new drugs continue to be reported in the EU at the rate of around one per week. A total of 49 new psychoactive substances were officially notified for the first time in 2011 via the EU early-warning system (EWS). This represents the largest number of substances ever reported in a single year, up from 41 substances reported in 2010 and 24 in 2009. And preliminary data for 2012 show no signs of a decline, with over 50 already detected. Full article >>

Record number of online shops selling ‘legal highs’

The Annual report presents the results of the 2012 EMCDDA snapshot of online retailers of ‘legal highs’ which identified a record 693 online shops purportedly selling psychoactive products to EU countries — up from 170 in January 2010. Full article >>

‘Older-new’ drugs must not be overlooked

As attention focuses on old established drugs or the emergence of new substances, a number of the ‘older-new’ drugs have established themselves on the market and should not be overlooked, states the report. Full article >>

Proactive response: countries devise range of tools to tackle threat of emerging drugs

Across Europe, a variety of measures are being developed to reduce the demand for, and supply of, new drugs. The speed at which new psychoactive substances can appear and be distributed challenges countries’ established legislative procedures for drug control. Full article >>

Heroin use in decline

Since the 1970s, heroin has occupied centre stage in Europe’s drugs scene and is still responsible for the largest share of drug-related diseases and deaths in the EU. Full article >>

HIV outbreaks in Europe

Latest European data show that the average rate of newly reported HIV cases among injecting drug users continues to fall in Europe and has reached a new low of 2.54 new cases per million population per year (an estimated 1 192 new cases in 2010). Full article >>

Cannabis: concerns about intensive use

Some 80.5 million Europeans (15–64 years) have tried cannabis in their lifetime, around 23 million of them having used it in the last year. The latest European data confirm the general stabilising or downward trend in cannabis use among young adults (15–34 years) cited in previous Annual reports. Full article >>

‘Testing the waters’: 2013 conference

‘Testing the waters’ is the title of the first international multidisciplinary conference on illicit drugs and wastewater to take place in Obergurgl, Austria, from 6–11 May 2013. The event is being organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF) in partnership with the EMCDDA and the Innsbruck Leopold-Franzens University Full article >>

Building national drug observatories

Building national drug observatories in Mexico and Peru was the focus of an EMCDDA Reitox Academy organised in Lisbon from 3–5 September. Participating in the academy were two visiting national delegations headed by Dr Carlos Tena Tamayo, National Commissioner on Drugs (CONADIC, Mexico) and Ms Joanna Fischer Battistini, General Secretary of the National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs (DEVIDA, Peru). Full article >>

EMCDDA and academia

Summer school 2013 and first EMDAS graduation Full article >>

Drug prevention and monitoring workshop

What kind of information on drug prevention and best practice in demand reduction is collected by the EMCDDA and the Reitox network? How can this information be used for planning or implementing new interventions in the area of prevention? How can the Southern Partnership countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) benefit from this experience? Full article >>

EU and Russian agency chiefs meet in Moscow

Wolfgang Götz, EMCDDA Director and Viktor Ivanov, Director of the Federal Drug Control Service of the Russian Federation (FDCS), met in Moscow on 12 July to lay the groundwork for joint activities over the next three years. Full article >>

New accord with Moldovan Ministry of Health

The EMCDDA and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Moldova signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Chisinau on 17 July. The signatories were Andrei Usatîi, Moldovan Minister of Health and Wolfgang Götz, EMCDDA Director. Full article >>

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In this issue: EMCDDA Annual report 2012 highlights; Selected issues 2012; Wastewater analysis; Reitox academy on building national observatories; EMCDDA and academia; new EMCDDA studies available online.

Drugnet Europe is also available in downloadable PDF format, for printing or offline browsing.

Drugnet Europe is the EMCDDA's newsletter launched in September 1996. The newsletter provides regular and succint information on the Centre's projects and activities to a broad readership.

Page last updated: Thursday, 15 November 2012