EMCDDA webinar: Methamphetamine in Europe — past and present


Objective: To explore the problem of methamphetamine in Europe.

Background: ‘On 31 October 1937, the Temmler factory patented the first German methylamphetamine, which put American Benzedrine very much in its shadow. Its trademark: Pervitin' (from Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany, by Norman Ohler, Shaun Whiteside).

In this webinar, we will explore the problem of methamphetamine in Europe, how it is deeply rooted in the history of our continent and how it evolved.

According to the latest European Drug Report (EDR, 2022), there are signs that methamphetamine availability and use are increasing, albeit from a low base. Higher rates of methamphetamine use are still only observed in a small number of countries in central and eastern Europe.

In this webinar, we will focus on Czechia, the country with, historically, the most problematic methamphetamine situation in Europe. Concretely, we will learn about the services and practices implemented in the country to reduce harms and treat those affected.

Signs of increased methamphetamine use have recently been noted in other European countries. As an example, we will speak with our Spanish colleagues to understand the nature of the problem in their country.

In conversation with:

  • Norman OhlerNew York Times bestselling author, journalist and screenwriter, Germany

  • Pavla Chomynová, Head of the National Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Addiction, Czechia

  • Gabriela Barbaglia, Senior Medical Officer of the Prevention and Care of Substance Abuse Service, professor at Pompeu Fabra University, Spain

  • Ester Aranda, Manager of Harm Reduction Projects at Asociación Bienestar y Desarrollo (ABD), Barcelona, Spain

Chairperson: Viktor Mravčík, Research Director, Society Podane ruce, Prague, Czechia

Opening and closing remarks: Alexis Goosdeel, EMCDDA Director

Format: EMCDDA opening remarks, panellists’ questions, guided discussion, Q&A 

Participants will intervene on the following issues:

  1. The origins of Pervitin and its historical consequences

  2. The current situation of methamphetamine use in Czechia

  3. Historically the use of methamphetamine has always been linked to the East of Europe, but now we are picking up signals in other European countries. What is happening in Spain and what are the current challenges?

Length: 1.5 hours

Participants: The webinar is open to all upon registration, after which the person will receive a link to connect.

Date: 15 February, 12.00-13.30 Lisbon time (WET)

Platform: Zoom