By Emma Disley and Kristy Kruithof

Europe remains an important market for illicit drugs, both in terms of those supplied within the continent and shipped in from other regions worldwide. During the past two decades, new drug trends have emerged across Europe and the market has continued to evolve. These are largely due to innovations in drug production and trafficking methods, the establishment of new trafficking routes and online markets.

The EU Drugs Strategy has attempted to respond to these global challenges through adopting an international approach to drug trafficking and sales and being reactive to new patterns in drug consumption. However, this does not seem to have curbed the rise in drug-use or drug-related deaths across Europe.

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