Cyprus has the highest consumption of cocaine in Europe, a new study by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) reported.
Among respondents who reported using cocaine, the proportion using the drug frequently (on more than 50 days in the last year) ranged from none at all in the Czech republic to over 10 per cent in Belgium, Cyprus, France, Italy and Luxembourg, the drug report concluded.
Cocaine consumption varied between countries, ranging from an average of 1.3 grammes per day of use in Austria, Belgium and France to 3.5 grammes in Cyprus.
Methamphetamine use, generally low and historically concentrated in Czech and Slovakia, now appears to be present also in Cyprus and other countries, the annual report found.
In Cyprus, between 20 and 50 per cent of opioid clients enter treatment for problems related to the use of other opioids, such as oxycodone.
Some 4.3 per cent of young adults aged 15 to 34 in Cyprus used cannabis in the past year, while 7 per cent of teenagers 15 and 16 years old have used the drugs during their life.
According to the report, current data on cocaine show that both the number of seizures and the volumes seized are at an all-time high in Europe.
“Cocaine enters Europe through numerous routes and means, but the growth in large-volume trafficking, using maritime shipping containers, stands out as a major challenge,” it said.
There are signs that the increased cocaine availability is resulting in growing health costs. Since 2014, the number of new clients in Cyprus entering treatment for cocaine problems, although still relatively low, has increased by over 35 per cent, with around two-thirds of countries noting an increase.
President Nicos Anastasiades warned earlier this year that the proliferation of drugs has taken on large dimensions, calling for public cooperation to help police fight the issue.