The use of heroin is on the rise across Europe, according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) 2010 Annual Report: the state of the drugs problem in Europe, presented on Wednesday in the ministry of health.

The EU agency’s figures concern the year 2008 and show that cannabis remains the most popular substance, considering that 22.5 pct of the population in Greece has tried it.

Roughly 14 million Europeans have used cocaine in their lifetime, 3 millions under the age of 34. The rising use of cocaine is evident in Greece as well based on the fact that the number of people requesting help to deal with cocaine addiction has tripled in recent years.

As regards heroin, it is the most widely used controlled substance in Greece. A serious problem for Europe is the continuous appearance of new synthetic drugs, while very alarming is the fact that these substances are sold over the internet.

Referring to the housing problem faced by the state-run drug rehabilitation agency OKANA, Health Minister Andreas Loverdos stated that the best possible solution is being sought, focusing on moving the agency's services to hospital areas.