Powerful new opioids, overdose deaths worry EU drug agency

Potent new synthetic opioids that mimic the effects of heroin and morphine are a growing health threat in the European Union, the bloc's drug agency said Tuesday.

The Lisbon-based European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction also expressed concern in its annual report about a rise in in 2016 for the third consecutive year.

Young people are exposed to increasing numbers of new and dangerous drugs, according to the agency. They include powerful synthetic opioids that are now also available as liquids and nasal sprays.

"With only small volumes needed to produce many thousands of street doses, new synthetic opioids are easy to conceal and transport, posing a challenge for control agencies and a potentially attractive commodity for organized crime," the European Drug Report said.

On average, the agency identified more than one new psychoactive substance coming onto the EU black market each week in 2016. At the end of last year, it was monitoring more than 620 new psychoactive drugs that had appeared in recent years.

Europe's most commonly used are cocaine, MDMA—also known as ecstasy—and amphetamines.

The annual report also included the results of two surveys of 15- and 16-year-olds in the EU and United States, which indicated a decline in drinking and smoking tobacco among the school students, while cannabis consumption remains largely unchanged.

Explore further

Pot remains Europe's most used drug, agency report says (Update)

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Citation: Powerful new opioids, overdose deaths worry EU drug agency (2017, June 6) retrieved 17 August 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-06-powerful-opioids-overdose-deaths-eu.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments

Jun 07, 2017
@fraudulent bubba the pseudoscience cult "oxymoronic" quack
Oral intake of 250mg of healthy adult male facial skin surface lipid pheromone alleviates opioid addiction instantly without withdrawal symptoms
this is called a blatantly false pseudoscience claim as you can't produce any empirical evidence, let alone peer reviewed journal studies, to support your claim

this is called fraud in the US, and it's worse that you're advocating psychotropic medicine without a license, degree or education in medicine

considering the only thing that is consistent with your claims is your requirement to believe in what you say, this also means you're a religious zealot, not a scientific anything

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more