EU Alerts over Steady Rise of Synthetic Drugs Sold Online
European authorities have detected a record 57 new legal highs so far this year, with a new psychoactive drug launched on the market every week, a report has warned.
The worrying trend goes hand in hand with an explosion of online retailers selling the new drugs in Europe – the so-called "head shops" - whose number has risen from 170 in 2010 to a record 693.
The data was revealed in the annual report from the Lisbon-based European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction published on Thursday.
The drug experts say that while cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines continue to be the main players for those taking stimulants across Europe, they are now competing with a growing number of emerging synthetic drugs.
The annual EU drugs report says two-thirds of the newly reported legal highs on sale are synthetic drugs designed to imitate the effects of cannabis or cocaine.
It says most of the new psychoactive substances sold as legal highs and appearing on the European illicit market are synthesised outside Europe in China and, to a lesser extent, India.
Organized crime groups are now reported to be involved in manufacturing the tablets and marketing them.
Cecilia Malmström, the European commissioner for home affairs, said she was struck by the speed of developments in this area.
"Stimulant and synthetic drugs play a central role in the European drug situation, creating a market that is fast moving, volatile and difficult to control," she said.
"More than ever before young people are being exposed to a plethora of powders and pills.
"I think it is clear to all that strong and co-ordinated actions are required if we are to respond effectively in this area."
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"More than ever before young people are being exposed to a plethora of powders and pills."---My humble question is: WHY?
Western Europe, the sure citadel of democracy...Or of "democracy"?
Or 'something is rotten in the state of Denmark'? Let me repeat my