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Drug Use Around Europe: The Dangers, The Truths, The Norms
04-06-2010, 11:58 PM,
#1
Drug Use Around Europe: The Dangers, The Truths, The Norms
Quote:Drug use around Europe: the dangers, the truths, the norms
By Matt Buttell
11/25/09 - 15:14

The concept of drug use is one that is completely polarised. For Big Pharma, biotech firms and drug manufacturers alike, the development of new vaccines and drugs means that treatments and cures can be offered to suffering patients across the globe; at the other end of the spectrum, drug use equates to a scary addiction and the misuse and abuse of often illegal substances.

Thanks to the work the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) is doing, we now have a deep understanding of the real state of the drug problem in the EU. In fact, monitoring and analysing the nature and scale of the drugs phenomenon in Europe, as well as the responses of member states to the issue of drug use, is a central part of the EMCDDA's work.

Worryingly, according to their annual report, users today rarely restrict their drug use to one single substance. Unveiled by Wolfgang Götz, head of the Lisbon-based agency, on 4 November, the 2009 report found that, "people become addicted to the consumption of a combination of legal and illegal substances, leading to joint alcohol and drug addiction."

Götz added that, "this increases the challenges and makes the treatment more complex. This is a problem, to which we must pay attention to urgently."

Poly-drug use is becoming more and more of a challenge as both the range of available substances and drug-taking repertoires grow and become increasingly complex.

The report, based on information provided to the EMCDDA by EU Member States and candidate countries Croatia, Turkey and Norway, highlights how cocaine and heroin are maintaining a firm hold on Europe's drug scene, suggesting there is little improvement regarding their use. On a lighter note, new data confirms a continued fall in cannabis use, particularly among young people.

Understanding the factors that influence the popularity of a drug such as cannabis is clearly important; however, caution should be used in inferring any simple causal explanations. The EMCDDA reports warns how though national and EU policy may have played a part in influencing these downward trends, declining levels of use in both the US and Australia suggest that broader sociocultural factors are likely to play an important role too.

   

Around 74 million adult Europeans - defined as those aged between 15 and 64 - admit to having tried cannabis in their lifetime, with around 22.5 million of them having used it in the last year. These figures mean the drug remains Europe's most commonly used illicit drug. What's more, while the new data does show a decline in popularity among young Europeans (those aged between 15 and 34), the numbers relating to regular and intensive cannabis users in Europe are less encouraging. In fact, according to the report, up to 2.5 percent of all young Europeans could be using cannabis on a daily basis.

   

Some 13 million European adults have tried cocaine in their lifetime. Of these, 7.5 million are young adults (15-34 years), with three million having used the drug in the last 12 months. According to the report, European cocaine use tends to be concentrated in western EU countries, while consumption elsewhere remains low. In fact, in the highest-prevalence countries (Denmark, Spain, Ireland, Italy and the UK), surveys show that use in the last year among young adults ranged from 3.1 to 5.5 percent. And, despite the efforts under the European Action on Drugs policy, most reporting countries point to a stable or rising trend in last-year's use.

   

For heroin, with 1.2 million users in the EU and Norway, indicators of opioid trends (new demands for treatment, deaths, seizures) still point to worrying developments. New data even highlights that recruitment to heroin use is still occurring, albeit moderately. In addition, the EMCDDA report warns that there is little to suggest an improving situation in the use of heroin and cocaine - the two substances that remain at the heart of EU's drug problem - adding that heroin still accounts for the greatest share of morbidity and mortality related to drug use in Europe. All this comes despite reports that use of the drug had been declining since the mid-to-late 1990s, signalling a significantly cloudier picture of the state of heroin use today.

   

Ecstasy use was virtually unknown in Europe before the late 1980s, but increased rapidly during the 1990s. The drug's popularity, historically linked with the dance-music scene, is common of synthetic drug use in general, which is often associated with particular cultural sub-groups or social settings. In terms of lifetime prevalence - which means people who have used that drug at least once - about 10 million European adults have used ecstasy at least once, with about 2.5 million of those being lifetime users. What's more, recent developments in the availability of ecstasy are also providing a new challenge, largely because before 2007 most ecstasy tablets analysed in Europe contained 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) or another ecstasy-like substance. However, initial data from the early-warning system from the beginning of 2009 suggest that this may be changing in some member states, such as Denmark and the Netherlands. In fact, in up to half of all tablets analysed in these countries, no MDMA or any of its analogues were found.



For the EMCDDA , the challenge is simple: poly-drug use, which increases risks and complicates treatment, needs to be tackled. The agency reports that Moreover, it insists that a defining factor in Europe's substance use problem is the concomitant consumption of alcohol, with almost all poly-drug use repertoires showing the presence of alcohol.

Established in 1993, the EMCDDA continues to work to provide accurate, objective, reliable and comparable information on drugs and drug addiction phenomena and their consequences. Whether such challenges can be overcome, remains to be seen.
http://digg.com/health/The_Stats_behind_Illegal_Drug_Use_in_Europe
http://www.ngpharma.eu.com/news/drug-use-around-europe/

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) Report (PDF)
http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/attachements.cfm/att_93236_EN_EMCDDA_AR2009_EN.pdf
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
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04-07-2010, 03:41 AM,
#2
RE: Drug Use Around Europe: The Dangers, The Truths, The Norms
Quote:What's more, recent developments in the availability of ecstasy are also providing a new challenge, largely because before 2007 most ecstasy tablets analysed in Europe contained 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) or another ecstasy-like substance. However, initial data from the early-warning system from the beginning of 2009 suggest that this may be changing in some member states, such as Denmark and the Netherlands. In fact, in up to half of all tablets analysed in these countries, no MDMA or any of its analogues were found.

Well then, what the fuck is in them? In the US, ecstasy IS MDMA. If it's anything else, or is cut with anything else, it's considered low grade, and no one really wants it - unless certain people are actually more into speed than ecstasy, and its cut with Meth.
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As far as the heroin thing is concerned - I used to be a hardcore IV heroin addict a little over a decade ago. Not that black tar shit that's as week as percocet, but china white from Spanish Harlem. My use crept up over a year and a half to the point where I was shooting between 3.5 - 5 grams daily. I went to a detox that provided me with a tapering level of Methadone, starting with the maximum dose of 40mgs. When I kicked, the withdrawals were so horrible, that even though during periods of time I had the desire to take my own life, I didn't have the coordination or the energy to move. It was thousands of times worse than kidney stones, which is the second most agonizing experience I've ever been through.

My suggestion? Give junkies a legal test period where they get lots of high grade heroin, then take it away, under supervision. If they go through what I went through, and still want the shit - give it to them legally. Those masochists would end up dead pretty quick anyway. Seems like something the population control advocates would be into - I'm surprised this hasn't been instituted yet.

Me? I never looked back. That shit is flat-out evil.
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