The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) has devised a new strategy to fight the flow of illicit drugs after experts found most of substances had been sold online in the past six years.
European Union citizens spend some 24 billion euros on illicit drugs every year, according to the EU drugs monitoring centre EMCDDA, making it one of the continent’s most profitable activities for organized crime groups.
Practically any kind of illegal drug can be bought on the Internet and delivered by post to users who no longer need to make direct contact with dealers.
The EMCDDA director Alexis Goosdeel, a Belgian expert, said hackers might be recruited from among former online dealers to track down websites and disrupt supply chains.
The most recent report on drug residue in wastewater published EMCDDA in December examines wastewater to learn about near-real-time trends in drug use and get facts rather than half-truths supplied by survey respondents. EMCDDA has run the analysis every year since 2011.
The project analysed wastewater in over 50 European cities in 18 European countries in March 2016 to explore the drug-taking behaviours of their inhabitants.
From London to Nicosia and from Oslo to Lisbon, the study analysed daily wastewater samples in the catchment areas of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) over a one-week period.