There is a wide consensus that Europe has a serious drugs problem. The focus of Europe in dealing with the drugs problem should be to reduce the supply and demand of drugs to socially acceptable levels whilst simultaneously reducing the criminal side effects and social decay that surrounds the illicit drugs industry. Due to its nature there are no definitive statistics on drug use, revenues or its effect on crime rates. The perception, though, is of a large and growing problem. With the trend of synthetic drugs rising amongst mainstream society for recreational use the health of a generation is at risk.
These pages will look at the drugs problem affecting the European Union. Focussing in particular on the problem of tackling financiers, growers, traffickers, suppliers and users we shall see that there is a conflict between governments and institutions pledged to prevent and repress drugs and the criminal community seeking new ways to sell its wares and launder the proceeds throughout the world's financial system.
This site starts from the perspective of the European Union's institutional approach to combating drugs through treaties, policy decisions, (such as the Justice & Home Affairs pillar, Council and Parliament decisions and briefings) through to the crime fighting embodiment of political will such as Europol, Interpol and domestic police and customs. Included in this will be a look at how treaties designed to facilitate free trade and open Western Europe up into an economic powerhouse have had unpleasant side-effects with regard to organised crime.
This site will also look at the criminal and social aspects of the drugs problem - in particular criminal organisations, drug routes into the EU and the manner in which organised crime has managed to penetrate the global financial system to launder illicit funds.
A map of Europe is also available which when you click on a country of interest - i.e. an EU member or neighbour - the site will show you an abridged version of the US State department's most recent report on drugs in that country. There is also a page illustrating some of the more common drugs with a picture showing a typical example.