25 ستمبر 2017
Drugs in Europe: French youth is at the top of the list
The European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) published in June its 2017 report on drugs. This report assesses drug use, trafficking and its dangerousness in Europe, Turkey and Norway. This report also includes data from ESPAD, a study conducted every 4 years on drug use among teenagers aged between 15 and 16 years old.
Cannabis is still in the lead
In Europe, cannabis remains the most likely illicit drug. The number of adults who have used cannabis is estimated at 87.7 million. It is five times more common than other drugs: cocaine (17.5 million), MDMA (the active principle of ecstasy, 14 million) or amphetamines (12.5 million).
In France, cannabis is leading, with 22.1% of young adults who consumed it in the past year (the highest percentage in the 30 countries included in the study). In comparison, cocaine is 2.4%, MDMA 2.3% and amphetamines 0.7% (data for 2014). Cannabis use has been increasing since 2010.
Until recently, the use of MDMA was declining, but this trend seems to be reversing for several countries. With regard to the consumption per year of young adults (15-34 years), France and Finland reported strong increases in 2014, according to the latest data. Consumption of cocaine has also stopped falling to stabilize or even increase, as in France. The use of Ketamine (an anesthetic), GHB and hallucinogens remains limited, as is the case of amphetamines. Heroin and other opiates (morphine, etc.) are little consumed, but their use is more risky, because of their mode of consumption by injection. However, the practice of injection continues to decline.
French youth is consuming drugs more than others
Regarding the consumption of the youngest (15-16 years), they are almost always above the European average, disregarding of the drug type, legal or not (tobacco and alcohol). Especially in cannabis: 31% of French youth reported using cannabis, almost twice as much as the European average (18%). Only the Czech Republic did worse, with 37%.
For their consumption during the past month, France is still at the top with 17% of young people concerned, while the European average is at 8%. Nevertheless, although still important, the use (at least once in the lifetime) of cannabis, cigarettes and alcohol is slightly lower for all young people than in previous years.
Drug-related deaths on the rise
The report shows an increase in overdose deaths in Europe for the third consecutive year. The majority of these deaths are related to opiates (81%).
With 7 deaths per million inhabitants, France is doing better than its neighbors. It occupies the 6th place. In comparison, the United Kingdom is at 60 cases per million, Estonia at 103.