Brussels - Injecting heroin is no longer popular among European drug users. Instead, cocaine is becoming a drug of choice.
This is the conclusion of an annual report of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).
Heroin, one of the most dangerous drugs at all, is consumed by approximately 1,7 million of Europeans. However, compared to the past, the intravenous drugs' popularity among the European youth has significantly decreased.
Ganja still popular with the youth
In the Czech Republic, marijuana and ecstasy are used most frequently. Czechs are European number two in the cannabis consumption among the people under 34.
Europeans and drugs in 2007:
- Every day, three millions smoke marijuana.
- One million entered a realm of cocaine use this year. Overall, the drug is used by as many as 4,5 million people.
- Nearly 200 thousand intravenous drug-users are infected with HIV.
- About eight thousand people die every year from drug overdose.
Only Spain has a higher share of dope smokers, but the 19,3 per cent of the young Czechs who have tried the popular soft-drug is not far behind the Spain's one-fifth.
More than half of the marijuana users in the Czech Republic are between 14 and 18.
Cocaine replacing ecstasy
While the consumption of cannabis is stable (even with some decline) in Europe, cocaine is emerging as a new hit. Produced mostly in Latin America, it enters the Old Continent through the Iberian Peninsula.
With 4,5 million people that have used cocaine this year, it has beaten the Europe's traditional drug of choice - ecstasy.
According to the statistics, every thirtieth Czech has had an affair with this stimulant. Only Australians are more active in this respect.
Varicolored pills containing methylamphetamine are imported to the Czech market mostly from the Netherlands (35 per cent) or Belgium (9 per cent). The domestic production is negligible.