The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) regularly produces reports detailing the current situation of drug use and drug-related deaths throughout European countries. Below is a quick overview of the drug problem in Italy.
Cannabis continues to be the most commonly used illicit drug by the general population, cocaine follows as the second most commonly used illicit drug. Illicit drug use in Italy is most common among young adults aged between 15-34 with the highest prevalence of cocaine in the last year reported among adults aged 25-34 years.
2017 data on drug use in Italy shows that there has been an increase in the use of cannabis while synthetic stimulants use has stabilised at the same time; cocaine use is shown to be on the decline.
The levels of MDMA/ecstasy and methamphetamine detected in the city of Milan have remained low since 2012, indicating limited use of these substances. Milan participates in the Europe-wide annual wastewater campaign undertaken by the Sewage Analysis Core Group Europe (SCORE). There was no amphetamine found in wastewater measured in Milan in 2017.
Drug-related deaths in Italy are noted as being on the decrease; of the deaths that were reported, Opioids (predominately heroin) used in isolation or in combination with other psychoactive substances were detected in the majority of victims.
Cocaine-related deaths have increased in correlation with the increase in people admitted for treatment due to cocaine use.
In Italy, the drug-induced mortality rate among adults (aged 15-64 years) is 6.7 deaths per million, which is lower than the most recent European average of 21.8 deaths per million.
Drug Related Offenses
In 2016, more than 65 000 offenders were reported. The majority were involved in offences related to the use/purchase/possession of drugs for personal use. More than half of all offenders were involved in cannabis-related offences; the next most prevalent drug-related offences are cocaine and heroin-related offences.
While the drug problem varies from nation to nation it is clear that it is a rising global issue which has given the need for an effective response. Randox Toxicology works in various areas of the industry to ensure testing for these substances is effective and efficient.
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