According to the National Criminal Police Office, the number of drug overdoses in Bavaria rose to new levels during 2016. Law enforcement, in addition to drug safety groups conducted numerous studies and the results, overall, remained consistent with outside studies. In Augsburg, a city in Bavaria, 27 people died due to drug overdose in 2016, according to Gerlinde Mair, Head of Drug Assistance. Sylvia Neumeier, director of the Drug Counseling Center in Dachau, however, announced that she saw no such increase.
Gerlinde Mair, the Head of Drug Assistance in Augsburg, said that she attributed the increase in overdoses to “new drugs, bath salts, and herbal mixtures.” She explained that the scenario, when looking at 2017, only looked worse. Law enforcement struggled to keep the new drugs off the streets—they “operated with their hands tied behind their back.” As soon as a drug or research chemical—the name used for quasi-legal drugs—became illegal, manufacturers tweaked the molecule just enough to make it legal again. The chemists stayed one step ahead of the police as they “easily produced synthetic drugs,” she explained.
Gerhard Zintl, head of the Augsburg Criminal Police, agreed with Mair regarding the new drugs. He said that the Augsburg Criminal Police “always followed drug developments.” However, 2016 proved a difficult year for the police in Augsburg—thanks to the increased availability of drugs from the darknet. Drugs became more readily accessible and dropped in price.
Sylvia Neumeier, director of the Drug Counseling Center in Dachau, Bavaria, saw no increase in overdoses throughout 2016. The same, she said, applied to the first month of 2017. She noticed increased in other drug-related areas, such as type of drugs used, demographical data, and where the drugs came from.
The category of the most-used drug became immediately noticeable after reading her statements—stimulants. Various forms of simulant use and abuse held the number one spot in Dachau. Or, based on Neumeier’s unique perspective, stimulant use became a commonplace in Dachau school systems. She said that the popularity of simulants, “especially amphetamines and other synthetic substances is increasing.” Many of the synthetic substances, she said, came from the darknet. Another common drug, according to Neumeier, was “bath salts, that came by mail, and is often unfortunately smoked, not dumped into water.”
She additionally noticed an increase in ADHD medication use and abuse. Students started using more “high-end performance agents, such as Ritalin,” she added. However, the drug counselor explained, students often abused these stimulants with the increased ability to purchase them without a prescription. “Of course,” she said, the students who took this route bought the drugs “on the darknet.” Ritalin, of course, is not an amphetamine despite sharing a similar backbone and some similar simulation. The point still stands regarding simulants as the primary drug of abuse.
While cities in Bavaria may not share an increase in overdoses, drugs from the darknet are on the rise in every region with public information on the topic.