The annual report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) on the drugs phenomenon in Europe in 2008, published today in Brussels, confirms the need to bring society together to form a European alliance to tackle the issue of drugs. This latest report from the EMCDDA on the drug phenomenon in Europe indicates that the consumption of drugs in Europe is stabilising, whilst the number of deaths linked to drugs is on the increase.
"Every hour, a young person in Europe dies from a drug overdose. This alarming fact from the EMCDDA's report confirms the urgent need to highlight to young people the serious risks of taking drugs", stated Jacques Barrot, Commissioner responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security. "To succeed in overcoming this problem, it is important to get society on board in every Member State. This is the goal of the European alliance on drugs which is aimed at involving and raising awareness of the risks associated with drugs amongst citizens, in particular young people, companies and local authorities", highlighted Vice-President Jacques Barrot.
This alliance, proposed by the Commission's new "Drugs Action Plan" 2009-20012, will be officially launched on the 26th June 2009 on the International Day against Drug abuse and Illicit trafficking. This new "Drugs Action Plan" adopted by the Commission on the 18th September 2008 focuses on reducing the demand and supply of drugs, tackling drug trafficking and concentrates on international action.
Some 12 million Europeans (between 15 and 64 years) have taken cocaine, 11 million have used amphetamines and 9.5 millions have used ecstasy. The latest figures for Europe confirm a stabilisation on amphetamine and ecstasy consumption. At the same time the figures show a steady growth in cocaine consumption, although this concerns only a small number of Member States. As regards heroine, the report does not show a decline in the epidemic problems linked to heroine, but certain signs indicate that the problems with synthetic opiates could worsen.
The annual report by the EMCDDA gives the European Union and the Commission a factual overview of the drug phenomenon in Europe. The European Monitoring Centre provided the European Commission with a technical support to evaluate the Drugs Action Plan (2005-2008) and to elaborate the "drug" action plan 2009-2012, which will be adopted by Member States before the end of the year.
For more information please consult
EMCDDA Annual report 2008 on the drugs problem across Europe
EU Drugs Action Plan (2009-2012) and report in the final evaluation of the previous EU Drugs Action Plan (2005-2008)
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