From the Eurobarometer findings of 21 August it unmistakeably emerges that young people are increasingly ill-informed about drugs in general and new psychoactive substances in particular.
One-quarter of young people in the 15-24 age group are unaware that psychoactive euphoriants, many of which are being sold legally, produce the same effects as cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines. The number of users of such substances is constantly increasing (up by 60% in three years).
Modern awareness-raising programmes are now being launched on Internet, which provides the principal source of information concerning new, legally available psychoactive substances.
In view of this:
|—||Has the Commission evaluated the information campaigns funded by it to raise awareness among young people regarding new legal psychoactive substances in particular and is it planning to widen the scope thereof, earmarking additional funding for measures producing tangible results?|
|—||Will it take any measures to restrict online access for juveniles (as with pornography, for example), this being a frequent channel for the supply of such dangerous substances?|
|—||What progress has been made with the proposal for a regulation on new psychoactive substances? Has a timescale been established for the completion thereof?|
Answer given by Ms Reicherts on behalf of the Commission (13/10/2014)
Over the past years, new psychoactive substances have emerged and spread fast across the EU market. Since 2005, more than 350 such substances have been notified through the mechanism for information exchange set up by Council Decision 2005/387/JHA on new psychoactive substances(1). The number of yearly notifications more than tripled between 2009 and 2013, from 24 to 81.
The use of new substances has also slightly increased among young people (15-24 years) in the EU: the share of those who say they have consumed them has risen from 5% in 2011 to 8% in 2014. While 68% of young people reported they obtained new psychoactive substances from a friend, 3% bought them online(2).
Since 1997, 12 new psychoactive substances(3) have been subjected to control across the EU, and their sale, including from the Internet, is banned.
In 2013, the Commission presented legislative proposals(4) to revise Council Decision 2005/387/JHA. The proposals aim at strengthening the EU response by enabling swifter and more proportionate action to withdraw from the market (including online) new psychoactive substances that pose risks. Negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council are ongoing. There is no established timeline for the adoption of the proposals.
The Commission complements and supports Member States' action on drug use prevention, by promoting the development of innovative approaches and the sharing of best practices. The Commission has supported several projects on new psychoactive substances(5), including on awareness-raising and innovative prevention methods aimed at young people, through various EU financial programmes. The beneficiaries of EU funds evaluate the results of their projects and submit them to the Commission.
|(1)||Council Decision 2005/387/JHA of 10 May 2005 on the information exchange, risk-assessment and control of new psychoactive substances, OJ L 127, 20.5.2005, p. 32.|
|(2)||Flash Eurobarometer 401"Young People and Drugs", August 2014, available at: http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/flash_arch_404_391_en.htm#401|
|(3)||4-MTA (1999); PMMA (2002); 2C-I, 2C-T-2, 2C-T-7, TMA-2 (2003); BZP (2008); mephedrone (2010); 4-methylamphetamine, 5-(2-aminopropyl)indole (2013); MDPV, methoxetamine, AH-7921, 25I-NBOMe (2014).|
|(4)||COM(2013) 618 final and COM(2013) 619 final.|
|(5)||New Psychoactive Substances — Projects, Studies and Research funded by the European Commission (http://ec.europa.eu/justice/anti-drugs/files/nps_report_2014_en.pdf).|