Drug-overdose deaths have significantly increased in Turkey as the country continues to be a major point for drug trafficking.
The Europian Drug Report 2019 report prepared by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) also shows that drugs seized during operations in the country was very high.
EMCDDA data points out that despite strict laws, drug dealers still use Turkey as one of the main transit points.
Turkish authorities seized 8,006million pieces of synthetic stimulants like MDMA and 6.6 tonnes of amphetamine in 2017 operations. According to the EU drug report, these amounts are well above the total amount seized in operations in all EU countries.
EMCDDA report specified that the 15-64 age group in Turkey uses the most marijuana, followed by cocaine and synthetic stimulants like that MDMA.
The report figures that the 15-34 age group are the most drug users and men are more narcotic addicts than women as the majority of men are in drug treatment in Turkey. High-risk drugs used in the body that acts as opioid morphine in the country.
The report highlights that the rates of in-patient treatment have increased in the last five years and that one-fifth of those treated have been using drugs injected with a syringe, while the use of heroin via syringe has declined in recent years.
Drug-overdose deaths increase
Turkey’s Ministry of Justice statistics shows that 105 people lost their lives in 2011 due to drugs overdose, while this number increased to 920 in 2016.
According to the latest official statistics, the number of deaths from drugs in Turkey in 2017 was 941. The majority of the dead were male, with an average age of 32 years. Drug-related crime has increased by 45 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year, according to the statistics.
Turkey is an important drug transit point between Europe and the Middle East. The EU report mentions that a large amount of marijuana seized in Turkey comes from Western Balkan countries or Morocco and cocaine is being transferred from South America.
Amphetamine tablets produced in southeast Europe with Captagon or Captagon logo was sent to the Middle East via Turkey through illegal ways, while a small portion was transferred to the local market for domestic consumption in Turkey.
The report exposes that methamphetamine which is produced in the Far East comes to Turkey via Iran or by airlines. A large proportion of synthetic stimulants such as MDMA seized in Turkey was sent to the Netherlands and Belgium and since 2010, synthetic cannabinoids seized in Turkey imported from China, Europe, and the US.
“The trafficking line routes are more multifaceted than before. Until four years ago, more than 50 percent of cocaine confiscations took place in Spain, but countries such as Turkey have registered an increase in recent years,” the agency’s director Alexis Goosdeel told journalists.
“What we see is that more and more the Internet and notably the Darknet is used for buying and selling drugs,” Goosdeel warned.