According to experts, the availability of cocaine in Europe is at a record level.
Traditional cocaine smuggling routes are changing, but at the same time the role of Europe in drug production and trafficking is being modified. “The study of the problem shows that we are now facing an ever-increasing threat from an expanding and dynamic drug market, fueled by closer cooperation between European and international criminal organizations,” said the director of the European Observatory for Drugs and Drug Addiction ) Alexis Gusdil. “This leads to record levels of drug availability, increased violence and corruption, and exacerbated health problems,” he added.
Cocaine is currently the second most used drug in Europe, whose sales volume is estimated at 10.5 billion euros. Levels of cocaine use vary from country to country, but highest in southern and western Europe.
According to the latest EMCDDA estimates, about 14 million citizens EU between the ages of 15 and 64 – almost 5% – have tried cocaine. Nearly 3.5 million people used the drug last year, of which 2.2 million were between the ages of 15 and 34.
In Austria, 5.6% of young adults used cocaine in 2021-2022, the highest rate in the EU, followed by Ireland at 4.8%, Croatia (3.9%) and the Netherlands (3.5%) . Greece is in 21st place in the corresponding list with 0.6%.
Spaniard adults were the most frequent cocaine users in their lifetime at 11.2%, followed by the Irish at 8.3%. In Greece, the corresponding percentage is 1.3%.
According to the EMCDDA, 7.8% of men have tried cocaine at least once in their lives, compared to 5.2% of women.
Mortality from drug overdose in the EU is estimated at 15 deaths per million adults. This corresponds to more than 5800 deaths per year. In 2020, the most drug-related deaths among 15-64-year-olds were recorded in Germany, where 1,581 people died. It is followed by Spain (545) and Sweden (470), while Greece is in sixth place with 263 deaths. An increase in mortality is observed in general, but especially among adolescents and people over 35 years of age. It should be noted that a significant increase, about 82%, was recorded in the age group of 50-64 years.
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