Zagreb - The parliamentary Health and Social Policy Committee on Thursday discussed an annual report on drug abuse in the European Union presented two days ago in Brussels, which indicates that drug abuse is on the rise in the European Union and in Croatia too.
A special guest at today's meeting was the director of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) Alexis Goosdeel who said that the situation was concerning due to an increased presence of all drugs, both natural and synthetic, on the European market, as well as due to an increase in violence and drug-related deaths.
Croatia has an important role in cooperating with eastern European countries where activities are increasing by criminal groups that import drugs directly from South America, said Goosdeel.
In the past 5 to 10 years the increased consumption of drugs is estimated at €30 billion a year and production are growing by 30% to 35%.
Croatia needs to prepare for the emergence of new drugs
Croatia is still below the EU average regarding drug consumption and has been investing in prevention and treatment of drug-addicts, however, it needs to prepare for the emergence of new drugs. Last year alone, 55 new drugs were identified as well as greater accessibility to cocaine, the director of the Croatian Institute for Public Health Željko Petković said.
The parliamentary health committee chairwoman, MP Ines Strenja, underscored that last year Croatia had a record year in successfully confiscating quantities of cocaine, adding however that a national plan to combat drug abuse 2018-2025 has still not been adopted.
"It is up to the Health Ministry to urgently put the plan up for e-consultation and into the procedure so that it can finally be adopted," she said.