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Drug agency says drug abuse alarming in EU

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Drug agency says drug abuse alarming in EU

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According to the EU’s drug agency, drug abuse in Europe has reached worrying proportions and it’s urging governments to be vigilant.

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction has released its annual report in Brussels.

It estimates there are up to 1.7 million serious drug addicts across the bloc and Norway.

A glut of opium on the world market is in part the cause.

This comes after two record harvests in Afghanistan in the past two years, netting up to 16,000 tonnes.

Officials are concerned this will reverse the decline seen in heroin-related drug deaths.

Wolfgang Götz, from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction said: “We saw over the last few years some slow improvements, but now we have some evidence that this seems to have stalled. Current science lead us to conclude that the situation is not getting better and in some aspects it may even be getting worse. And I think this clearly is an important area where we have to be vigilant and where we have to be prepared.”

The Drug Agency reports heroin seizures have doubled in Turkey and are up 10% in Britain.

Groups of new heroin users are also appearing for the first time in recent years.

The price of a gram of the narcotic has dropped across the bloc, to 14,5 euros in Turkey and 110 euros in Sweden.