Illegal Drug Use Down in U.S., Up in Europe

  Illegal Drug Use Down in U.S., Up in Europe

Posted by FoM on October 21, 1999 at 18:43:14 PT
By David Briscoe, Associated Press Writer  
Source: SF Gate 

Illegal drug use is falling in the United States but rising sharply in Europe, U.S. officials say. The amount of drugs seized in Europe more than doubled this year as South American traffickers targeted the continent. 
Barry McCaffrey, President Clinton's chief drug policy adviser, is holding a series of drug summits across Europe next week to address the problem. He is also pushing for a drug-free Olympics. Anti-drug authorities classify 13 million Americans as current illegal drug users, compared with 25 million in 1980. Cocaine use has dropped the most dramatically, from 5.7 million in 1985 to 1.8 million, according to McCaffrey's Office of National Drug Control Policy. A current drug user is anyone who used drugs at least once in the past month. Comparable statistics are not available for most of Europe, although surveys taken in recent years show cocaine use ranging from 0.5 percent of the population in Belgium to 3.3 percent in Spain. Ross Deck of McCaffrey's office, who has been meeting with European officials tracking drug use, said there is ample evidence that drug use is increasing across Europe although countries are only beginning to compile statistics. ``Cocaine is looking for new markets,'' McCaffrey said at a news conference Thursday, and it's finding them in Europe, where attitudes toward some narcotics differ from those in the United States. The International Narcotics Control Board, in its latest report, cited increased demand for illegal synthetic drugs in Europe and said heroin use is up in some countries. It said preventing illegal drug use is difficult on a continent ``where it is increasingly being viewed as an almost normal cultural phenomenon.'' It said cocaine use is not seen as a major public health problem. The board, based in Vienna, Austria, said Europe is not only a major destination for drugs, including heroin, but an emerging producer of marijuana and illegal synthetic drugs such as ``ecstasy.'' McCaffrey said Americans need European help in stopping the flow of 700 metric tons of cocaine a year from Colombia, Bolivia and Peru, about half of which still ends up on U.S. streets. McCaffrey leaves Sunday for meetings with officials in Britain, Belgium, Portugal and France. He said his message will be that cocaine is not a soft drug and that Europeans should contribute more in the battle against narcotics from Latin America. He credited good police work by the Spanish and Dutch for much of a sharp increase in cocaine seizures this year, but he said the increase in busts every year for six years ``is indicative of a changing problem.'' McCaffrey said Europeans should contribute more to alternative economic development in the Andean region and step up efforts to stop drug production and money laundering. ``I want to make sure they get the point that they are now the target of a drug threat that is searching for new customers,'' McCaffrey said. Another focus of his trip will be on the use of performance enhancing drugs in sports, McCaffrey said, leading up to a Nov. 14-17 Australian sports summit aimed at eliminating drug use by athletes in the 2000 summer Olympics in Sydney and the winter games in Salt Lake City, Utah. ``We've got to come up with some notion on how to create a level playing field, where competitors don't think you have to chemically engineer the human body, or you can't win,'' McCaffrey said. McCaffrey, in an interview, said his foreign travel and his participation in a planned Western Hemisphere 34-nation drug summit Nov. 9-10 is justified by the need for international cooperation to stop the flow of drugs into the United States. His top goal, he said, is to educate and enable American youth to reject illegal drugs as well as alcohol and tobacco. ``It's an interdependent world,'' he said. ``Clearly, you've got to have a cooperative relationship'' with other countries on money laundering, trafficking, doping in sports and other issues. McCaffrey's office estimates that 80 to 130 metric tons of cocaine is available for consumption in Europe, with expected seizures this year of 40 to 50 metric tons. In the first six months of the year, seizures were already double those of last year, it said. The report estimates that 57 percent of the South American cocaine flowing into Europe lands in Spain or Portugal, 15 percent in the Netherlands, 6 percent in Belgium and 7 percent at unknown entry points. DAVID BRISCOE, Associated Press WriterThursday, October 21, 1999 Related Article:General McCaffrey's History of Misinformation - DrugSense

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Comment #5 posted by susan johnson on February 04, 2000 at 08:40:22 PT:

illegal drug use

could you please send me more ablout this becouse I am doing a report on Illegal drug use in our community! if you write back I would be so graetful.thank you very much  susan johnson
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Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on October 23, 1999 at 10:10:21 PT

Europe's cold shoulders

Consider: the last time MISTER McCaffrey was in Europe, he claimed to be on a fact-finding mission. He travelled to Holland, supposedly to learn about how a very civilized Western nation has rationally handled their 'drug problem'.But he didn't visit a single Amsterdam coffeehouse, which would have instantly given the lie to his propaganda. He didn't meet with a single represntative of the Dutch public health authority, which would have told him to his face how wrong he was. He didn't ride around with the Dutch police, and hear them speak matter of factly of how the coffeehouses have kept kids away from the harder stuff.No, he travelled to Holland, (which in my own warm rememberances, is a nation of very kind and open-minded people who have been staunch allies of the US for decades, despite some of our policies) and proceeded to slander and libel the Dutch government by misrepresenting their crime statistics (i.e.,saying that their murder rate is twice ours, when it is actually about one-eighth of ours) and generally insulting their social policies of seperating soft from hard drugs and allowing access to the former. It made quite a stink over there... and didn't make a single ripple in our media here.And now, he's going back. After his "Ugly American" debut in Holland, I doubt many Europeans will be as likely to welcome him as warmly as the Dutch had, initially. He's a known quantity, now. A guest who insults his hosts is not likely to be remembered fondly.He made me ashamed to be an American.
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Comment #3 posted by Dozer on October 21, 1999 at 21:01:55 PT

Drug use down

Well that's because George W. Bush stopped using cocaine.
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Comment #2 posted by Tom on October 21, 1999 at 20:35:17 PT

The Lie Czar is a LIAR!!!

Lie Czar Barry McCaffrey is a pathetic human.Every time the Lie Czar opens his mouth, he spews lies.(That's why he's called the Lie Czar.)But lying alone is no longer enough for the Lie Czar.Being a PROHIBITIONIST, the Lie Czar must alsostick his nose in other people's business.However, up to this point, the Lie Czar has only stuckhis nose into the business of Americans. Now, theLie Czar has really gone looney!... The Lie Czarnow believes he must tell all nations around the worldhow they should conduct their INTERNAL business.And of course, we know why the Lie Czar is doing this.The Lie Czar's No. 1 mission is no longer to "protectour children" from CERTAIN drugs. The Lie Czar's No. 1mission is now to fight the growing ANTI-PROHIBITIONmovement. And Europe is leading the world in theANTI-PROHIBITION movement.Thus, the Lie Czar must discredit all nations that arescaling back Prohibition by LYING about the situationin those nations... For all nations that are scalingback Prohibition, the Lie Czar exclaims:"The 'drugs' boogeyman is coming!""The 'drugs' boogeyman is coming!"If America adopts the drug policy of these Europeannations, the Lie Czar cries: "America will be ruinedby drugs!"The Lie Czar is a LIAR!!!
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