European Drug Report 2015

European Drug Report

Cannabis continues to the European's Union's most commonly used drug, with almost 79 million people estimated to have tried it, according to EMCCDDA Drug Report published Thursday

"Today, the European drug markets continue to change and evolve rapidly. This is illustrated by the fact that, in 2014, over a hundred new psychoactive substances were detected, and risk assessments were conducted on six new drugs — both of these numbers are record highs. To keep pace with these changes, and to ensure that the analysis we provide is informed by new developments, the EMCDDA continues to work closely with researchers and practitioners. As an agency, we have always recognised the importance of delivering sound and policy-relevant information in a timely fashion. We remain committed to this goal, and to ensuring that whatever the nature of the drug problem we face, Europe’s responses will be supported by an information system that remains viable, relevant and fit for purpose.

"Excerpt from the preface to the European Drug Report 2015, by

João Goulão, Chairman, EMCDDA Management Board, and Wolfgang Götz, Director, EMCDDA

Get the Facts


  • Cannabis is the most commonly used drug in Europe
  • 79 million adults used cannabis in their life and almost 1% use it daily
  • 11.7% young adults used cannabis last year
  • Cannabis is the most frequently reported drug for new treatment entries
  • Cannabis accounts for almost 80% of all drug seizures
  • More than 70% of all drug law offences are cannabis-related
  • High potency cannabis products are more available –> evidence of increased health emergencies


  • 1.3 million problem opioid users in Europe, despite apparent decline in heroin use
  • The number of people seeking treatment for heroin has halved
  • The median age of those entering treatment increased by 5 years
  • Hepatitis C infection is commonly found among people who inject drugs –> up to 84% depending on national samples
  • Injection-related HIV contaminations levels have dropped
  • The number of heroin seizures has decreased since 2009


  • Cocaine is Europe's most commonly used stimulant
  • 2.3 million young adults used cocaine last year
  • Wastewater analysis confirm recreational use patterns with highest rates of use on weekends and holidays
  • Purity levels of MDMA powders and tablets increased from 2006 to 2013
  • Alerts about tablets sold as ecstasy containing PMMA
  • Direct competition by cheap and high-purity new drugs

New drugsNew Drugs

  • New drugs are detected at a rate of 2 per week
  • 101 new substances reported in 2014
  • 450 substances now being monitored
  • Synthetic cathinones and synthetic cannabinoids account for 69% of all new drug "seizures" sold as "legal" replacements for stimulants or cannabis
  • More than 650 websites are selling legal highs to Europeans