Magazine article European Social Policy

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs : New Drugs on Increase in Eu - Report

Magazine article European Social Policy

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs : New Drugs on Increase in Eu - Report

Article excerpt

One new drug is reported every week in the European Union under the EU's early warning system, according to the annual report released by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) in Lisbon, Portugal, on 15 November. Overall, 49 new psychoactive substances were identified in 2011 - a record number and considerably higher than the 41 in 2010 and 24 in 2009. Preliminary data for 2012 show no sign of a decline with over 50 new drugs already reported.

The Lisbon-based agency, as well as highlighting the increasing diversity within the more common new drug groups, warns that the number of products containing multiple psychoactive substances, both controlled and uncontrolled, appears to be rising. One example is the detection of PMMA in products sold as legal highs'. The EMCDDA notes that this drug had been placed under control in Europe following an EU risk assessment in 2002 and carries high risks of overdose.

Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom welcomed the agency's latest analysis since "it highlights the drug problems we share across the European Union and informs the work we are currently undertaking to strengthen Europe's strategic and operational approach to drug trafficking and use".

Pointing to the fast moving and volatile market, which is difficult to control, she added: "I think it is clear to all that strong and coordinated actions are required if we are to respond effectively in this area".

That coordination can be seen in the Union's rising concern over use of the stimulant drug 4-methylamphetamine a substance that in most member states is not controlled under drug legislation. …

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