What is the average overdose for meth

More deaths from legal highs

Synthetic drugs and new psychoactive substances are spreading more and more in Germany. The number of deaths from so-called legal highs rose to 25 last year, a five-fold increase compared to the previous year.

That said the drug commissioner Marlene Mortler (CSU) at the presentation of the drug report in Berlin. According to the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), there are now more than 1500 legal high products with around 160 different new psychoactive substances known in Germany. On the Internet, these drugs are usually offered as herbal mixtures or bath salts. The composition and the risks cannot be assessed by consumers, warned BKA President Holger M√ľnch.

Shadows over positive long-term development

A total of 1,032 people died last year because of their drug use - three percent more than in the previous year. 85 percent of the drug deaths were men. The average age of the drug deaths is around 38 years.

"The recent slight increase in the number of drug deaths clouds the view of the long-term positive development," said Marlene Mortler, the drug commissioner of the federal government. She stressed that the number of drug deaths had halved since 2000.

In numerical terms, the most common cause of death in the past year was still a heroin overdose, often when it was mixed with other drugs. However, the number of deaths in which heroin, cocaine or crack play a role is tending to decline, according to Mortler. In contrast, there are more cases in which the consumption of amphetamines and metamphetamines (crystal meth) ends fatally.

Further results of the drug report at a glance:

  • More cases: The number of drug-related crime cases recorded by the police increased by almost ten percent in 2014 compared to the previous year and, with almost 277,000 cases, has reached the 2005 level again.
  • More ecstasy and crystal users: There was also a noticeably strong increase in ecstasy consumption last year. The number of ecstasy users who were conspicuous for the first time rose compared to the previous year by 42 percent to 2096. Also with crystal meth, the number of people who first became conspicuous by the authorities rose again by 14 percent to 3,138.
  • Seized drugs: The amount of ecstasy seized by the police rose by 44 percent to almost 700,000 so-called consumption units. There has been a continuous increase here for the past five years. The police also seized larger quantities of cocaine (plus 20 percent to 1568 kilograms) and especially heroin (plus 190 percent to 780 kilograms) than in the previous year. These numbers, however, vary greatly depending on whether the drug investigators make random discoveries in their investigations. 2014 was a good year in this regard: In September, 330 kilograms of heroin were seized at an estimated street price of more than 50 million euros. At the beginning of November 2014, BKA investigators confiscated a huge amount of raw material from which around 2.3 tons of crystal with an estimated street sales value of 184 million euros could have been made

Mortler announced a new law that will make it easier to classify new psychoactive substances as illegal in the future. There will be a "brave solution". Up until now, new designer drugs that have undergone minor molecular changes are often no longer subject to previously pronounced prohibitions.