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[European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction] Towards a stronger European response to drugs. (26 Oct 2011)

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Europe is facing new challenges in the field of drugs, notably illicit drug trafficking, the rapid spread of new psychoactive substances and reducing the demand for illicit drugs. The EU has unveiled plans to tackle these problems.

Strasbourg, 25 October 2011 – The European Commission has today given a fresh impetus to anti-drugs policy by announcing an overhaul of the EU rules to fight illicit drugs, particularly new psychoactive substances, which imitate the effects of dangerous drugs like ecstasy or cocaine and are a growing problem. The EU indentified a record number of 41 such substances in 2010, up from 24 the previous year. These drugs are increasingly available over the internet and have rapidly spread in many Member States, which face difficulties in preventing their sale. More new drugs are entering the market.

Over the past two years, one new substance has emerged every week. Member States cannot stop the spread of drugs alone: clampdowns at national level may simply force criminals to move drug production to neighbouring countries or to shift trafficking routes. With the Lisbon Treaty now in place, the EU has new tools to address the drugs scourge. Over the coming months, the Commission will develop clearer and stronger rules on tackling dangerous new drugs and trafficking – both of illicit drugs and chemicals used to make them.


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