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Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship

Reding says no to designer drug use


Tougher action across the European Union is needed to tackle the growing problem of new synthetic drugs entering the market, a new report reveals. According to a new Eurobarometer survey published today, new substances that imitate the effects of illicit drugs are increasingly popular with 5% of young Europeans saying they have used them.

"We need to act at EU level and protect our children," said EU Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding. New psychoactive substances are becoming widely available in Europe at an unprecedented pace.

The EU indentified a record number of 41 such psychoactive substances – which imitate the effects of dangerous drugs like ecstasy or cocaine and are sold legally – in 2010, up from 24 the previous year. The drugs, which can be just as dangerous as banned substances, are often sold over the Internet and in specialist shops. The report assesses the current EU rules on tackling new psychoactive drugs. The Commission plans to strengthen these rules to prevent such unsafe substances from being sold freely on the market.

Vice-President Reding noted that the current system of detecting these new drugs is not fit to tackle the large increase in the number of these substances on the market. "The rules must be strengthened to make sure young people do not fall into the trap of using these dangerous drugs."