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Drug Abuse and Its Devastating Consequences: The Financial Side

In France, for example, the use of substances or plants classified as narcotics is a criminal offense, punishable with prison and a EUR 3750. The fine (as well as the respective prison time) can go up to EUR 7500 if the offense was committed by a public servant on duty.

Ireland is a bit more lenient with drug abusers, with only use of prepared opium being explicitly prohibited and punished with imprisonment and/or EUR 1270.

Luxembourg will levy anything between EUR 251 and 2500 for the use of cannabis or other drugs, the differences here being in the amount of jail time granted for one drug or another.

It costs the user nothing in Poland and Slovenia, where drug use is not mentioned as an offense.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have Spain, where the illicit consumption of drugs in public spaces, streets, establishments is a serious infraction of public safety. While not a crime, the respective serious infraction can cost the unlucky user up to EUR 30,000.

Drug Abuse: The Rest of Europe


Many other EU countries have lower fines of around EUR 100-300, but most of them also involve some another form of punishment – most often, prison – with Malta stipulating up to 10 years for use of prepared opium.

This article does not include loss of profits and wages, time spent away from family and friends, and the immense health hazards associated to drug abuse. It also does not include the overall expenditure of the country and healthcare and judicial system.

One way to save money is by supporting drug abuse reduction measures, such as drug testing and drug screening. Prevention is key here, leading to better overall outcomes