Designer drugs are on the rise in Europe. That's posing a serious health risk, according to a UN affililiated report published on Tuesday. It calls for international efforts to stem the spread of these substances.
Competition for two seats on the UN Security Council has eased after Israel withdrew its bid to join the 15-member body. The move means Germany and Belgium will run unopposed for a pair of nonpermanent positions.
Germany's lower house has passed legislation to classify and ban whole groups of designer drugs. In 2015, dozens of people died from the chemical variants, which mimic the effects of illegal narcotics.
Some 30 million narcotics users are hooked worldwide and deliveries are "thriving," especially cocaine to Europe and North America, according to the UN's drugs and crime agency. Opioids kill 190,000 sufferers annually.
Europol's latest organized crime report has identified 5,000 active groups in Europe - it attributed a major increase to the emergence of new groups relying almost entirely on high-tech methods.
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