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This is unfortunately a very profitable Business

By Chmee2 - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

The drug trade is still very lucrative, no matter what economic turbulence we face. The sad reality is that this "industry" is booming and that more and more criminal groups are involved in the manufacturing and distribution of those substances. The emergence of ghettos in many European centres where a significant proportion of the population is at risk of social exclusion is the crucible of this dreadful trade. Yet, drugs affect people from all walks of life. And the use of hard drugs among the upper class is nothing new. A recent report from Europol said that EU residents spend more than € 24 billion a year on illegal drugs. This report -based on datas from 2013- highlighted that cannabis, heroine and cocaine were the most widely purchased drugs. The use of cannabis generates about € 9.3 billion in sales, heroine around € 7 billion and cocaine more than € 5 billion. Yet, most figures on record are already out of date. It is currently estimated that drug sales to EU consumers could have reached as much as € 31 billion a year. The use by criminal groups of the more sophisticated technologies is a credible explanation for the rapid growth of their business. But another relevant explanation is that drugs such as cocaine or heroine have become accessible to the greatest number of people possible. And this is mainly due to a drop in prices which enabled the boom of the hard drugs market. A concrete example of this: the price of one gram of brown heroine sold in France fell from € 60 in 2000 to less than € 35 in 2013. Finally, we must stress another major cause of concern for the judicial and police authorities: a large number of new psychoactive substances -over 500- are sold openly as "legal replacements" for illicit drugs. Obviously, it is another front in the war against drugs trafficking.

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