European drugs are a large problem in Europe just as they are in the US and elsewhere. It is fair to say that Europe has a drug problem. Just as elsewhere in the world, Europe has problems with drug trafficking as well as with recreational use and this leads to many other problems such as health difficulties, crimes and financial strain for the governments. The EU is of course trying to tackle the problem of European drugs, but as elsewhere, this meets with mixed results.
Of course European drugs vary depending on the country and Europe is a large continent. This depends on the finances of the country, the access to drugs farms, and even the individual laws which vary from country to country. In Belgium and Amsterdam for example Marijuana is a legal drug, and many other mind-bending substances and highs are also legal. Many Europeans then will travel to Europe in order to experience European drugs legally and more safely and may do this as part of a stag party or hen party. Cannabis is also more widely used in other areas of Europe where it is illegal as it is generally classified as a less ‘severe’ drug. Meanwhile though other European drugs are less prevalent, such as Heroin which is far more rare in European countries as a rule (of course this statistic refers to the continent as a whole and it may not be the case in individual countries) – though it is the one most associated with marginalisation and addiction when it is. The use of ‘MDMA’ and ‘Ecstasy’ meanwhile are very popular European drugs particularly in England and some other European countries. Here it is part of the ‘rave’ scene where users will use the drug in order to achieve a high and to experience the music in a different way. It is believed that across Europe, roughly .05% to 15% of the population over 12 years of age has at some point tried drugs (this statistic was recorded by WHO in 1997, and similar results were found by the EMCDDA in 1996).
Patterns in drug use however are only very generally understood, partly due to the fact that many European countries do not participate in drugs surveys. Many of the statistics and information gathered on European drugs is conducted by the EU’s Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (also known as the EMCDDA) though they are generally cautious when making statements about drug patterns across Europe. The EMCDDA also provides information about European drugs, laws and addiction across the EU and has a database of reports.