Europeans are spending at least EUR 30 billion on drugs each year at retail level, making the drug market a major source of income for organised crime groups in the European Union. This figure is announced today in the 2019 EU Drug Markets Report, released by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) and Europol (1). Around two-fifths of this total (39%) is spent on cannabis, 31% on cocaine, 25% on heroin and 5% on amphetamines and MDMA (2).
The two agencies have joined forces to provide their third state-of-the art overview of the European illicit drug market. The report covers trends along the supply chain from production and trafficking to distribution and sales. It describes how the drug market has wide-ranging impacts on both health and security and how a holistic approach is crucial for effective drug control policies.
Presenting the report’s findings today, Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship said: ‘Organised crime groups are quick to seize new opportunities for financial gain and are increasingly exploiting technological and logistical innovations to expand their activities across international borders. At the same time, drugs are now more accessible to European consumers, often via social media and the internet. Today’s report proves once again that the illicit drug market remains a threat to the health and security of our citizens. We will continue working relentlessly with our Member States and international partners on strengthening our fight against drugs in all its aspects; for our youth, our citizens, our society.’