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Drugs situation in the EU RSS

Poppy shells, containing the seeds used to manufacture illegal drugs © moonrun, fotolia

Drug use in the EU remains at high levels.

Every year 6.100 individuals die in the EU because of drug overdose.

1.700 individuals die in the EU of HIV/AIDS attributable to drug use and 1.800 people become infected with HIV because of drug abuse.

At least 73.6 million Europeans reported to have used cannabis at least once in their lifetime, while cocaine and amphetamines have been tried by 14.1 and 11.4 million people respectively.

Opiates such as heroin are used by an estimated 1.4 to 1.5 million Europeans, but its use has generally stabilised in the general population. Nevertheless, it still causes for most of the health damage and mortality among problem drug users.

About 730.000 opioid users received substitution treatment in 2012 (latest figures).

Most illicit drug users are between 20 and 30 years old, but substances such as cannabis are also increasingly used by adolescents in the 14 to 18 age group.

In many cases, illicit drugs are used in combination with licit substances such as alcohol and tobacco, also referred to as poly-drug use.