The European Union is observing signs of the stabilization and even a drop in cocaine and heroin consumption, but it warns about the proliferation of new synthetic drugs.

This is the general panorama presented by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, or EMCDDA, in its annual report for 2012, which was released Thursday in Lisbon.

The study, prepared with national statistics from 2010 provided by the 27 EU member states plus Croatia, Turkey and Norway, notes that heroin and cocaine "continue to account for a large share of the harm, morbidity and mortality associated with drug use in Europe."

The EMCDDA estimates that 1.4 million Europeans are "problem" consumers of opiates, among which is heroin, a substance that represents 50 percent of all requests for addiction treatment on the continent.

The report says that cocaine consumption reached its apex during 2008-2009 and since then the trend has been down.

The report estimates that about 15.5 million Europeans - out of a total EU population of more than 500 million - have tried cocaine at some time in their lives and 4 million did so during the past year.

Calculations are that 80 million Europeans have tried marijuana at least once in their lives and 23 million have used it within the past year. EFE