Snow Season: Coke is It in Europe
Even if European ports are gateways between the East and West in terms of drug trafficking, some of that product winds up on the local streets as the couriers, distributors, and other elements of the narco-economy try to further finance their operations. "Alternate income streams", sort of like how cinemas show adverts before movies.
People are still smoking (literally) tons of hash and weed, but cocaine is apparently in vogue, partly, I imagine, due to its ready availability.
Cannabis remains the most widely used drug in Europe, but cocaine abuse rose sharply last year despite record amounts of the drug being seized, an annual report by the EU drugs agency said Thursday.
Heroin use and drug injecting were declining, the report said, but the number of drugs-related deaths remained high at 7,000-8,000 people in the EU's 27 member states and Norway in 2005, the last year for which data is available.
An annual report on drug use says around 4.5 million Europeans are likely to have used cocaine in the past year - a million more than in 2006.
The EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) says the increase in cocaine seizures and quantities also confirms its status as "Europe's stimulant drug of choice".
Prevalence of the drug is highest in Spain and the UK but the biggest increases are in Denmark and Italy.