Every year 6.400 to 8.500 individuals die in the EU because of drug overdose and for the first time in years the number of fatalities is going up.
2 100 individuals die in the EU of HIV/AIDS attributable to drug use and 3 000 people become infected with HIV because of drug abuse.
The most extensive range of figures is available in the EMCCDA's Annual Report on the state of the drugs problem in Europe. The most recent data from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) suggest that the use of heroin, cannabis and synthetic drugs has stabilised or is declining but that cocaine use is rising in several EU countries.
At least 75.5 million Europeans reported to have used cannabis at least once in their lifetime, while cocaine and amphetamines have been tried by 14 and 12 million people respectively.
Opiates such as heroin are used by an estimated 1.2 to 1.5 million Europeans, but its use has generally stabilised in the general population. Nevertheless, it still causes for most of the health damage and mortality among problem drug users.
About 670 000 opioid users received substitution treatment in 2008 (latest figures).
Most illicit drug users are between 20 and 30 years old, but substances such as cannabis are also increasingly used by adolescents in the 14 to 18 age group.
In many cases, illicit drugs are used in combination with licit substances such as alcohol and tobacco, also referred to as poly-drug use.