European Drug Market data

Ultimate aim of BorderSens project is to enable highly accurate selective detection of trace levels of illicit drugs and precursors. But what are precursors and why are they so important in the war on drugs?

The EU Drug Markets Report 2019 is the result of two European agencies joining forces: The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and Europol. It is an essential reference for law enforcement professionals, policy makers, academia, and for anyone seeking up-to-date information and analysis on drug markets in Europe.

The report covers trends along the supply chain from production and trafficking to distribution and sales. It describes how the drug market has wide-ranging impacts on both health and security and how a holistic approach is crucial for effective drug control policies.

Some interesting data that arise from this report:

  • Europeans are spending at least EUR 30 billion on drugs each year at retail level, making the drug market a major source of income for organised crime groups in the European Union.
  • Around two-fifths of this total (39 %) is spent on cannabis, 31 % on cocaine, 25 % on heroin, and 5 % on amphetamines and MDMA.
  • Yet, opioid use still accounts for the largest proportion of the harms associated with illicit drug consumption in the EU, including high rates of morbidity and mortality.
  • Illicit drug production and trafficking in the 10 Member States for which data are available ranged between 0.02 % (Luxembourg) and 0.6 % (Italy and Sweden) of the national gross domestic product (GDP) in the period 2004-15, and was 0.4 % or above in half of the countries.


For further information on BorderSens please contact project coordinator at or fill in the contact form below.

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