European Union

Drug Use in Prison

(Drug Use in Prison) "Studies carried out in 15 European countries since 2000 estimated that between 2% and 56% of prisoners have ever used any type of drug while incarcerated, with nine countries reporting levels in the range 20–40% (3). The drug most frequently used by prisoners is cannabis, followed by cocaine and heroin. Estimates of heroin use while in prison ranged from 1% to 21% of prisoners (4). The wide variation in prevalence levels between countries may reflect methodological differences in data collection and reporting.

Cannabis Offenses in the EU

(Cannabis Offenses in the EU) "Cannabis continues to be the illicit drug most often mentioned in reported drug law offences in Europe (34). In the majority of European countries, offences involving cannabis accounted for between 50% and 90% of reported drug law offences in 2010. Offences related to other drugs exceeded those related to cannabis in only four countries: the Czech Republic and Latvia with methamphetamine (54% and 34%); and Lithuania and Malta with heroin (34% and 30%).

Consequences of Cocaine Transshipping in Guinea-Bissau

(Consequences of Cocaine Transshipping in Guinea-Bissau) "Demand for cocaine in Europe, combined with the stepping up of policing in the Caribbean has simply shifted transit routes to West Africa – the balloon effect. Guinea Bissau, already with weak governance, endemic poverty and negligible police infrastructure, has been particularly affected - with serious consequences for one of the most underdeveloped countries on Earth.

Health Impact of Opiate Use

(Health Impact of Opiate Use) "The first and most direct impact of opiates is on health, including heroin-related deaths. Opiates (including synthetics) account for 35% to almost 100% of all drug-related deaths in the 22 European countries that have provided data, and over 85% in 11 of those countries.69 In addition, heroin abuse by injection contributes to high rates of serious diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.70 The HIV epidemic among injecting drug users continues to develop at varying rates across Europe.

European Union - Data - Sources of Heroin Trafficked to European Union

(Sources of Heroin Trafficked to European Union) "Heroin is the most common opioid on the European drug market. Imported heroin has historically been available in Europe in two forms: the more common is brown heroin (its chemical base form), originating mainly from Afghanistan. Far less common is white heroin (a salt form), which historically came from South-East Asia, but now may also be produced in Afghanistan or in neighbouring countries.

Legal Distinctions Between Drugs and Amounts

(Legal Distinctions Between Drugs and Amounts) "In Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and the UK, the penalty for a drugs offence officially varies according to the nature of the substance involved. Thus the law in those 13 countries instructs or requests the judicial authorities to distinguish between drugs when prosecuting.