Report finds 'abundant' supply of illicit drugs in EU

Illicit drugs are increasingly available in the European Union, where there is now "an abundant supply," the bloc's drug monitoring agency said in a report published Tuesday.

The agency highlighted cocaine as a growing problem. Its purity in Europe is increasing and more people are going into treatment, though cocaine seizures by authorities reached a record 181 metric tons in 2018, the agency said.

Last year witnessed an increase in synthetic drug production on the continent, the appearance of new synthetic opioids and ecstasy tablets containing high levels of MDMA, the Lisbon, Portugal-based European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction said in its annual report.

The COVID-19 pandemic doesn't appear to have had any significant impact on EU drug production, the agency said, though restrictions on movement have made drug delivery methods to consumers more unpredictable.

The agency noted that some drug-taking behavior, such as sharing cannabis joints or crack pipes, carries a high risk of infection.

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