Drug Trafficking Patterns

in Southern Europe

Drug Abuse in Southern Europe

The southern part of Europe, particularly Italy, faces unique drug trafficking issues. Italy is directly on the maritime route from Albania to Western Europe that is used for heroin smuggling. This is part of a relatively recent phenomenon in which heroin traffickers are increasingly not only using large containerized ships for smuggling. They recently have started using pleasure craft and smaller vessels such as sailboats and speedboats to transport drugs from Albania to Italy and from Turkey to Spain.

These data come from the latest reports from both the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). Italy recently also had the dubious distinction of being second only to the Netherlands in terms of seizures of illegal marijuana plantations.

Regardless of increasing seizures of tons of marijuana plants and plantations, an increase in marijuana consumption has been noted in some European countries while others have decreased or stabilized their consumption. In such countries as Bulgaria, Estonia and Italy, national studies show a steady increase of marijuana use, especially among young adults.

Italian Cocaine Usage

Cocaine Line

Cocaine trafficking through Italy has increased in recent years, although its popularity and use has decreased in other European countries. According to the latest surveys of cocaine use in the last year, the consumer market for cocaine among young adults is characterized by a relatively high rate of usage in only a handful of countries: Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, Ireland and Denmark. These five countries alone accounted for 1.7 million (or 62 percent) of the estimated 2.7 million users among the 15-34 years old age group who said they had used cocaine "in the last 12 months."

Drug Smuggling Flourishes where there is Drug Demand

One reason that drug smuggling and criminal groups continue to flourish in Italy as well as other parts of Europe is the high demand for these substances in those countries continues. Organized crime has augmented their traditional drug trafficking routes with airline freight services, shipping containers on ocean freightliners as well as using individual passenger planes and boats more frequently. These various routes make it difficult for law enforcement to stay ahead of the smugglers.

How to Decrease Demand for Drugs

A more effective strategy to combat drugs may be to find a way to decrease the demand from consumers. This will only occur with early and effective drug education aimed at preventing young children from ever starting on the road to drug abuse. It has been shown in many studies that when school children as young as eight or nine years old learn the truth about drugs and what they really do to a person, they will not begin using them. Accurate drug education is actually the only effective deterrent that our society as a whole and individual parents and teachers can use.

What works when you want to quit using drugs?

But what about those people who have already gone down the road of drug abuse and are now hooked? When one of those people wants to quit using drugs, he may not know where to turn for effective and safe drug rehab. His parents or family may have to step in to help him. Fortunately for tens of thousands of former drug abusers, there are Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in nearly fifty locations around the world. Another seventy Narconon locations focus on education and effective prevention strategies as well.

Narconon in Italy

Narconon Albatros Rehab in Italy

In Italy, there are several Narconon rehab centers, some of which also provide drug education and prevention. These are located in seven places in Italy, from Piedmont in Tuscany to Lecce in the South. At each location, one can find caring staff who will help an addicted person work his way through the Narconon program. The eight steps of the program help someone was had been trapped in addiction find his way back to long-lasting sobriety. The Narconon program is long-term, fully drug-free and highly effective.

Narconon Regional Office for Southern Europe

Also found in Milano, Italy is the regional office for Narconon for Southern Europe. From this office anyone can obtain all the information he would need to start his own Narconon rehab or education center in Southern Europe as well as reliable information about any drug or substance. The Southern European Narconon office staff hold conferences and serve as guest speakers who provide information about drug trends or drug-free drug rehab. The Milano office also provides books, DVDs, other publications, audio and video on the subject of drugs.

For more information about Narconon and its locations or the Southern European Office of Narconon in Milano, call a rehab specialist today.


  • European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction and Europol: EU drug markets report: a strategic analysis. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2012.
  • UNODC, World Drug Report, 2013, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Vienna, Austria, June 26, 2013. UN Publication.
  • Europol (2011), Organised crime threat assessment 2011, The Hague, available online at: https://www.europol.europa.eu/content/press/europol-organised-crime-threat-assessment-2011-429

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