Historic record of cocaine seizures in 2021, with 20.07 tons stolen by the police from the criminal market. The percentage increase compared to the previous year is 47.66% and the trend of the first months of 2022 seems to confirm the significant increase in volumes taken from the illicit market. This is what emerges from the annual report of the Central Directorate for Drug Services.
Drug seizures are on the rise: from 59 tons in 2020, it rose to 91 tons in 2021, with a percentage increase of 54.04%, which, due to a significant increase in seizures of cocaine and cannabis derivatives, is the fourth highest result since 2000.
They have tripled in 2021, compared to the previous year, the seizures of Gbl (90 liters) and those of Ghb (5 liters), the two powerful sedatives also known as “rape drug”often passed off through online sales sites.
They were also 32 new psychoactive substances were intercepted, of which five were never identified before in Italy, produced with the aim of evading controls because they are not included in the international tables: in America they are responsible for tens of thousands of overdose deaths.
They are more than seizures of cannabis-derived drugs doubled compared to last year: both hashish (+ 113%) and marijuana (+ 135%), while there was a reduction in the number of stolen plants (-27.51%). After a decline in the last three years, the level of seizures reached 67.7 tons in 2021, just below the average of the last decade (about 77 tons).
Cannabis remains the most seized drug in our country, representing, alone, in the past year, over two thirds (67.7 tons) of all drugs identified (91 tons) by the police, demonstrating a constant level high in demand. A share, equal to 20.9 tons of inflorescences and derivative products with a low thc content, contributes to this substantial volume of cannabis seizures.
The total quantities seized concern 20.8 tons of hashish and 46.8 tons of marijuana. The former mainly located in the north of the country (43.7%), the latter in the south and on the islands (68.83%). Alongside the drug coming from traditional places of import, the phenomenon of “a national outdoor production, especially in Sardinia” (+ 498% of marijuana and + 150.62% of plants compared to the previous year) emerges.
In addition, heroin seizures increased by 10.61% in Italy in 2021, equal to 567.52 kg. In general, in 2021 the decrease in deaths from overdose is confirmed (293 deaths, -5%) which, in 2020, after three consecutive years of continuous growth, had shown a significant decrease (-65 deaths, in all 309) compared to to 2019.