A letter published by The New England Journal of Medicine documented that officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have warned that non-opioid painkillers could be at the forefront of the next wave of drug abuse.
A recent report by The Guardian uncovered that the purity of street cocaine throughout Europe is at its highest level in a decade and the sum of people seeking treatment for cocaine use has increased. The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) found that the price of cocaine has continued to remain stable across the continent and could be a contributing factor.
In 2016 an estimated 22.3% of fatally injured motorists in America tested positive for marijuana, a figure which has steadily increased in recent years. The Governors Highway Safety Association recently completed a study on drug prevalence regarding vehicle fatalities. The report found that in the same year 44% of motorists killed in an automobile tested positive for one or more substances, an increase of 28% in 10 years and higher than the 37.9% that tested positive for alcohol.
A drug bust described as “one of the largest in US history” has taken place in Nebraska after police seized 118 pounds of opiates. The opiates were later confirmed by the NPS Crime Lab as fentanyl, a powerful synthetic painkiller that is 30-50 times more potent than heroin. It is estimated by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that the amount seized would have been enough to kill over 26 million people.
Despite having some of the strictest laws for narcotics in Europe, France’s president Emmanuel Macron is taking the necessary steps to reform the country’s drug laws following concerns over a continuous rise in drug abuse. In 2015 convictions for drug use in France were 37,160 compared to that of 3,481 in 2000. The number of drug arrests in France increased further in 2016 to nearly 140,000 and 67.5% of the country’s arrests.