The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) launched today the European Drug Report 2020: Trends and Developments. In its latest annual review – marking 25 years of monitoring – the agency describes the drug situation at the end of 2019, along with recent changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.
High availability across all drug types, drug production within Europe and highly potent substances are among the concerns addressed today. New developments highlighted in the report include: record cocaine, and large heroin, seizures; a scaling up of synthetic drug production; and concerns around high-potency cannabis, new synthetic opioids and ecstasy tablets containing high levels of MDMA. Drawing on new EMCDDA rapid studies (Spring 2020), the report also reviews COVID-19 disruption to drug use and the market, which could have long-term implications for Europe’s drug services and law enforcement agencies. There are fears that innovative drug distribution models developed during lockdown, along with the economic impact of the pandemic on vulnerable communities, will add to the challenges already posed by an abundant supply of drugs.
The following ‘Key issues’ have been identified in this year’s analysis:
- Large drug shipments are increasingly intercepted
- Cocaine’s role in Europe’s drug problem is increasing
- Potential for increased heroin use and existing harms raise concerns
- Understanding the public health impact of high-potency cannabis and new products
- Increased and diverse drug production within Europe
- Continuing availability of high-strength MDMA products highlights need for greater user awareness
- Growing complexity in the drug market poses regulatory challenges and health risks
- Need for new tools and innovative strategies to support the scaling-up of hepatitis C treatment
- Drug overdose is increasingly associated with an ageing population
- New psychoactive substances (NPS) have become a more persistent problem
- Appearance of novel synthetic opioids is a worrying example of continuing market adaptability
To read the Report and get more information, follow this link>>>.
Presentations from the launch are available at Youtube:
- EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson>>>
- Chair of EMCDDA Management Board Laura d’Arrigo>>>
- EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel>>>