Drug Abuse in the Global Village

Drug Abuse in Western Europe

                                                    REGIONAL VARIATIONS

Drug related deaths are highest for the Vienna area, Vorarlberg and in Oberosterreich (Jahresbericht). Cocaine abuse decreases from West to East in Austria with the exception of Vienna (Austria 1991).


Attitudes towards drug abuse vary by region. In the Flemish region, abuse is perceived as a social problem whereas in Bruxelles and French speaking areas, it is seen as a moral problem. MDMA (Ecstasy) abuse is reported mainly in Northern Belgium (U.N. 1991).

            The three surveys mentioned above (1988, 1990 and 1991) show small regional variations in licit and illicit drug use (see table 2). While medical preparation abuse is twice as low in Anvers (14.4 per cent) as in East or West Flanders (21.8 per cent and 32.2 per cent respectively), illicit drug abuse is twice as prevalent in that town as in the other two regions (U.N. 1991).


Paris contributed 30 per cent of all drug related offences in 1990 (France 1990). The seven other regions were drug abuse is prominent are Aquitaine, Alsace, Nord Pas-de-Calais, Languedoc-Roussillon, Midi-Pyrיnיe, Rhפne-Alpes and Provence-Cפte d'Azure (CMO 1990). Further, an increase in drug abuse in rural areas was reported for the 1985 to 1989 period (Trautmann, C. 1989).


Although drug abuse occurs in all parts of the country urban areas (such as Berlin, Hamburg, Hanover, the Ruhr Valley and Frankfurt) have the greatest concentration of drug related problems (National Programme on Drug abuse Control 1990). In the new Federal States, consumption of cannabis in Brandenburg has noticeably increased, especially, in the larger cities (Postdam, for example). This region is increasing in significance due to its geographical proximity to Berlin and the increase in tourism in the region. Rostock is becoming the focal point of narcotic crime in the Meckelenburg-Western Pomerania region. Large cities of Saxony (Leipzig and Dresden) are also becoming focal points for drug trafficking (Bundeskriminalamt, 1992).


Drug abuse is generally more prevalent in urban areas (Ministry of Welfare et al. 1991).


Drug abuse is generally more prevalent in urban areas (Ministry of Welfare et al. 1991).



No information reported by 31st December 1993.


Switzerland is a federal state of 26 cantons. According to police arrest data, the largest numbers of persons convicted for drug consumption offences are found in 6 of the cantons (Berne, Vaud, Zurich, Aargau, Geneva and St Galen) (Police 1992). Drug related deaths in 1991 were also the highest in these cantons (Vaille, C. 1991).

     A survey by the Federal Public Health Office carried out in cantons in 1989 found that LSD abuse was of concern in 23 canton, albeit to a decreasing extent and in small amounts (13 cantons reported a decrease in use, 5 to 6 stable and in 2 an increase), amphetamines abuse in 18 cantons, MDMA in 7 and solvent abuse in 14 (stable and rare) and crack abuse in none of the cantons (CM0 1990).