The annual reports of EMCDDA (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction) and Europol show that 2011 was a record year on a drug market in the EU. New drugs were detected in the EU at the rate of around one per week! Moreover, 49 new psychoactive substances were officially notified for the first time in 2011 through the EU early-warning system (EWS). However, it has to be taken into account that it may just be the improved reporting system that shows the increased number of new drugs and not the actual increase in production and consumption.
‘New drugs have become a global phenomenon which is developing at an unprecedented pace’, say the agencies (New drugs detected in the EU at the rate of around one per week, say agencies)
EMCDDA Director Wolfgang Götz says: ‘We now see new drugs marketed in attractive packages on the Internet or sold in nightclubs and on street corners. Whatever the source, the simple fact is that a dangerous game of roulette is being played by those who consume an ever-growing variety of powders, pills and mixtures, without accurate knowledge of what substances they contain and the potential health risks they may pose’.
It is expected that the European Commission will propose a stronger EU legislation on new psychoactive substances. A special attention is being placed on monitoring the online 'legal high' market, which does not surprise taking into account its growth (from 314 online shops offering at least one psychoactive substance in January 2011, to 690 in January 2012).