Consumer interest in drugs supplied in dance clubs and parties has been impacted by the development of the coronavirus and accompanying regulations. Most European countries have stopped nightclubs and bars during quarantine, resulting in sales drop of narcotics like cocaine and ecstasy. However, wastewater monitoring in certain European cities revealed that most drug usage has returned to its normal level since the first wave of COVID-19 restrictions were lifted last summer.
According to EMCDDA, the Czech Republic is the leader in the number of methamphetamine addicts. In the Czech Republic, the number of people at risk per capita is the largest in Europe, up to 70 percent of them inject drugs in the most dangerous way. Until recently, methamphetamine was distributed only in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, but now the number of addicts has increased in Germany and Turkey.
EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ilva Johansson noted that 46 new formulas have appeared in Europe in 2020 alone.
The EMCDDA estimates that about a third of the EU’s population has tried drugs, that is, 83 million people, of which about 50 million were men and 33 million were women. Marijuana is used by the majority, with over 78 million individuals having tried it at least once in their lifetimes. Around 14 million people have tried cocaine, over 10 million have taken ecstasy, and just about 9 million have taken amphetamine.
The number of narcotics collected during police operations reflects the shift in the market. For example, the overall amount of money seized climbed considerably between 2009 and 2019, with methamphetamine up to 931 % and ecstasy up to 456 %. Experts believe Europe has begun to play a significant role in the development of medications that are then distributed to customers.