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Price and purity information (PPP)

An overview of the data

Tables include data from the EU Member States, Croatia, Turkey and Norway and the graphic include data from the EU Member States and Norway.

The following tables are included in the bulletin, giving information for countries which provided 2009 data.

The tables in this section provide an overview of drug prices at retail level, drug purity/potency for major drug types of interest in 2009 (cannabis, heroin, cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, ecstasy and LSD) and data on the contents of illicit drug tablets: synthetic scheduled illicit drugs - i.e. drugs controlled under the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances Schedules I and II and under European legislation (Council Decisions),submitted by the reporting countries in 2008.

Tables PPP-1 to PPP-4 show reported drug prices at retail level by country, where data are available, for the major drug types of interest in 2009. Part (i) of each table gives minimum, maximum, mean and modal (typical) prices in euros for 2009, Part (ii) of the table gives the names of the sources of information of the data provided in Part (i) and Part (iii) shows the geographical coverage and the methodology used.

Tables PPP-5 to PPP-8 show reported drug purity/potency (where available: see Part (iii)) by country, where data are available, for the major drug types of interest in 2009. Part (i) of each table gives minimum, maximum, mean and modal (typical) purity/potency in percent for 2009; Part (ii) of the table gives the sources of information of the data provided in Part (i); and Part (iii) of the table gives information on the type of sampling and the type of study, as well as purity determined to the base/salt in tables PPP-6 and PPP-7, both of which affect data provided in Part (i).

Figure PPP-1 shows reported information on national street-level prices for each drug in the EU Member States and Norway, weighted by country population sizes to form an overall EU trend. Prices have been adjusted for national inflation rates (base year 2004) and all series indexed to a base of 100 in 2004.

Figure PPP-2 shows reported information on national potency/purity for each drug in the EU Member States and Norway, weighted by country population sizes to form an overall EU trend. Potency/purity series have been indexed to a base of 100 in 2004.

 

Summary points

Cannabis

The mean retail price of cannabis resin ranges in 2009 from EUR 3 to EUR 19 per gram, with middle half of the values between EUR 6.8 and EUR 19. For herbal cannabis, the mean retail price ranged between EUR 2 and EUR 70, with the middle half of values ranging from EUR 6.3 to EUR 10.9 (see Table PPP-1).

In 2009, the reported mean of THC content of resin by country ranged from 3 % to 17 %. That of herbal cannabis, excluding home-grown Sinsemilla/Nederwiet in the Netherlands, ranged from 1 % to 15 % (see Table PPP-5).

Heroin

The retail price of brown heroin continued to be higher in the Nordic countries than the rest of Europe, in reporting countries price ranged between EUR 23 and EUR 135 per gram. . The price of white heroin is reported only by a few European countries and ranged between EUR 24 and EUR 48 per gram (see Table PPP-2).

In 2009, for most reporting countries the mean purity of brown heroin tested ranged between 16 % and 32 %, although values under 40 % were reported in France 13.5, and Austria (12.9 %), and higher values by the Malta (35.6 %), Romania (35.9%) and Turkey (37%), . The mean purity of white heroin was generally higher (25–48 %) in the few European countries reporting data (see Table PPP-6).

Cocaine

In 2009, 18 countries reported, and the mean retail price of cocaine varied between EUR 4537 and EUR 104 per gram, with half of the countries reporting mean values between EUR 550 and EUR 79 (see Table PPP-3). For those countries reporting sufficient data, the price of cocaine, corrected for inflation, sold on the streets has become cheaper between the years 2004-2009.

The mean purity of cocaine in Europe ranged between 18% and 51 % in 2009 (see Table PPP-7). Most countries report a decline in the purity of cocaine over the period 2004-2009, with the exception of Portugal.

Amphetamine

In 2009, the mean retail price of amphetamine ranged between EUR 10 and EUR 23 a gram for half of the 14 reporting countries (see Table PPP-4). Amphetamine retail prices either decreased or remained stable in all countries reporting data over the period 2004-2009, except in the Netherlands and Slovenia where increase in 2009. The purity of amphetamine samples intercepted in 2009 continue to variy widely across reporting countries, from less than 8% in Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Croatia, to greater than 20% in countries where amphetamine production is reported or where consumption levels are relatively high (Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Finland, Norway). Over the past five years, the purity of amphetamine has fallen in all 18 countries reporting sufficient data for trend analysis with the exception of Luxembourg (See Table PPP-8). .

Methamphetamine

In 2009, the limited data available suggest that the mean purity of methamphetamine ranged between 10 %, reported for Estonia, and 76 % for Croatia (see Table PPP-8). In the few countries reporting the mean retail price of the drug, it varied from EUR 9 (Eslovenia) to EUR 71 (Germany) per gram in 2009 (see Table PPP-4).

Ecstasy

Of the 18 countries for which data was available, the mean MDMA content of ecstasy tablets tested in 2009 was between 3 and 108 mg. In addition, high-dose ecstasy tablets containing over 130 mg of MDMA were reported by several countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy ,the Netherlands and Turkey) (see Table PPP-8). Over the period 2004–09, The the MDMA content of ecstasy tablets declined overall in all countries with reporting sufficient data.

Over the last few years, there has been a change in the content of illicit drug tablets in Europe, from a situation where most tablets analysed contained MDMA or another ecstasy-like substance (MDEA, MDA) as the only psychoactive substance, to one where the contents are more diverse, and MDMA-like substances less present. This shift has accelerated in 2009, to the extent that the only countries where MDMA-like substances continue to account for a large proportion of the tablets analysed are Italy (58%), the Netherlands (63%) and Malta (100%). Amphetamines, sometimes in combination with MDMA-like substances, are relatively common in tablets analysed in Greece, Spain, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Croatia. Most of the other reporting countries mention that piperazines, and in particular mCPP, were found, alone or in combination with other substances, in a substantial proportion of the tablets analysed. (see Table PPP-9)

Ecstasy is now considerably cheaper than it was in the 1990s, when it first became widely available. While there are some reports of tablets being sold for as little as EUR 1, most countries are reporting mean retail prices in the range of EUR 4–9 per tablet. The data available for 2004–09 suggest that the retail price of ecstasy has continued to fall or remained stable in across Europe as a whole. In 2009, However, An an increase was reported in 2009 in the Netherlands, which is also the country reporting the lowest where prices for the drug (see Table PPP-4), and the data available for 2004-2009 suggest that the retail price (adjusted for inflation) has continued to fall in Europe (See Figure PPP-1)..

Hallucinogenic substances

LSD retail prices (adjusted for inflation) have remained stable or slightly declining (8%) since 2004(see Figure PPP-1), and in 2008 the mean value ranged between EUR 7 and EUR 11 per unit for the majority of the 11 reporting European countries (see Table PPP-4).

Page last updated: Thursday, 01 September 2011