The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) regularly produces reports detailing the current situation of drug use and drug-related deaths throughout European countries. Below is a quick overview of the drug problem in one of Europe’s most influential countries; Germany.
Germany's population between the ages of 16 and 64 years old totals 53,994,380 people, this is the age group identified as being the most at risk for potential drug use.
Figures show that in Germany more than 25% of the population has at one point used illicit drugs, 1 in 10 had used in the last 12 months and of this group about half had used within a 30-day time period. Data provided on drug use within adolescents and young adults (12-25 years old) shows that cannabis is the most commonly used drug in Germany, 13.3% of young adults had reported the use of the drug. Cocaine, MDMA and Amphetamines where also noted as commonly used by young adults but at less than 2%.
Opioid use in Germany has been estimated at 1.1 to 3 high-risk opioid users per 1,000 of the population aged between 15 and 64 years. This works out at between 138,000 and 164,000 people.
Data shows that drug-induced deaths in Germany have been on the rise since 2012 with 2016 showing an increase in 2015 with figures moving closer to the 2008/2009 highs of almost 1,500. The majority of these deaths are in the age groups of 30-39 where Germany has a higher total than the EU overall. Around 37% of all drug-related deaths occur in this age group in Germany compared to 31% in the EU. The drug-induced mortality rate among adults (aged 15-64 years) was 23.6 deaths per million in Germany in 2016, compared with the most recent European average of 21.8 deaths per million.
Drug Related Offenses
There were 302,594 reported drug-related offences in Germany in 2016, the majority of these were for use/possession (231,926) with 62,464 cases for the supply of drugs.
These figures represent a slight rise in the level of Drug law offence’s (DLO) reported since 2013, including those relating to consumption and possession. Drug use-related offences committed against the Narcotics Act (unauthorised possession, purchase and distribution of narcotic substances) dominate the DLOs, and more than half of these offences are related to cannabis, followed by amphetamines.
While the drug problem varies from nation to nation it is clear that it is a rising global issue which has given the need for an effective response. Randox Toxicology works in various areas of the industry to ensure testing for these substances is effective and efficient.
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EMCDDA - Country Drug Report – Germany: http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/countries/drug-reports/2018/germany_en