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16 June, 2024
 
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Methamphetamine use in Cyprus under scrutiny

Cyprus stands out in European substance analysis

Newsroom / CNA

A pan-european Wastewater Analysis Survey shows that there is a significant use of methamphetamine in Cyprus, but there are lower levels of use than the European average for other substances.

A press release by Cyprus National Addictions Authority said that traditionally in Europe the use of methamphetamine was mainly limited to the Czech Republic and Slovakia, but now it appears that significant use also exists in Belgium, Germany, Spain, some northern countries, and Cyprus.

But the research shows that the increasing trend observed in the use of methamphetamine in Cyprus in recent years does not continue this year, with most areas showing a small decrease in the consumption of methamphetamine, while in Paphos and Ayia Napa the use remains in similar levels as last year.

Dr. Despo Fatta-Kassinou, Professor of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the International Water Research Center NIREAS of the University of Cyprus, NIREAS has been participating since 2012 in the European network SCORE, collecting data on the use of amphetamines, MDMA (ecstasy) and cocaine (Nicosia and Limassol ).

She noted that in recent years, with the full support of the Cyprus National Addictions Authority, figures were analyzed for all the urban areas on the island namely Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos and Ayia Napa. In addition, with the financial support of the Authority, a methodology was developed in NIREAS laboratories in 2021, which tests wastewater for levels of oxycodone, mephedrone, ketamine and its metabolites, as well as heroin and its metabolites.

Europe-wide research published Wednesday shows trends in the use of amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA, cocaine, ketamine and cannabis.

In Cyprus amphetamine use appeared, for another year, to have a low consumption compared to the rest of the European countries, showing however a small upward trend.

As regards cocaine in Cyprus, it is noted that a small increase was observed in Limassol and Ayia Napa, with the use of cocaine fluctuating at last year's levels in the rest of the country's cities, and relatively low compared to the European average

Greater use of MDMA seems to take place in the cities of central Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands) and also in Spain. In Cyprus the levels of MDMA consumption are low, but its use was found to be increased in most cities of Cyprus (except Limassol and Larnaca) compared to the previous year.

Cannabis use shows mixed trends in this year's survey, with about half of the participating cities showing an increase in its use, and a steady or declining trend in the rest. The highest usage is recorded in the Czech Republic, Spain, the Netherlands and Slovenia. In Cyprus, although widespread, the use of cannabis is quite low compared to the European average.

The use of ketamine has been monitored in Europe for two years. Very low levels of use were observed in Cyprus.

Chair of the Cyprus National Addictions Authority, Dr. Christos Minas, noted the importance of urban wastewater analysis research as a critical tool for the Authority.

He said that analysis incorporates international scientific practices and theoretical models and allows for a more detailed understanding of trends in substance use in different regions and countries.

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Cyprus  |  science  |  EU  |  health

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