What is more profitable use of cocaine or meth

Nobody knows how widespread crystal meth is

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However, this does not prove that crystal meth is becoming an "epidemic". Methamphetamine is without a doubt a particularly harmful synthetic drug. It quickly makes you psychologically dependent, the body breaks down, brain damage and psychoses are the result, and no amphetamine is more toxic. The crystal meth, which is sold quite cheaply by dealers in Germany, comes mainly from illegal laboratories in the Czech Republic. However, it can be made from the starting materials of many commercially available drugs.

How widespread it is in the rest of Germany cannot be said. Also because representative studies do not consider crystal meth as an individual drug, but belong to the group of amphetamines. This includes substances that sometimes have very different effects and harm. Their total consumption has been relatively constant for years. A few years ago, crack worried investigators and drug politicians as much as it is now crystal meth. However, the drug was restricted to a few regions (DHS, 2013).

The damage cannot be measured

As far as the number of drug deaths is concerned, heroin and other opioids and opiates continue to top the statistics of the BKA. 663 of the 1,002 deaths after consuming illegal drugs are due to heroin and opium-containing or opium-like substances or in combination with them. For comparison: ten people died of acute crystal poisoning, eight more from a drug cocktail that also contained crystal.

And for heroin, the following applies: the drug is hardly widespread in the population. It is estimated that between one and four people per 1,000 inhabitants inject heroin regularly. That would be up to 203,000 people or around 0.3 percent of the population (REITOX report, 2013).

No conclusions can be drawn from the statistics on drug deaths or users identified as criminals as to which drugs - be they legal or illegal - cause the greatest damage in Germany. In addition, fluctuations in the numbers do not necessarily mean that more or fewer people are using a particular drug. It can also simply be that the police were more or less successful in looking for certain substances. Newly opened borders in Europe can also change the drug smuggling movement and thus what the police discover.

It is bad that people in Germany still die of illegal drugs every year. Harsh penalties, especially against consumers, have hardly changed that in the past.

ZEIT ONLINE asked its readers: Do you take drugs? More than 22,000 people in Germany took part in the Global Drug Survey 2014 online. This resulted in the ZEIT-ONLINE drug report.

Never before have so many Germans described what they smoke, sniff, drink and throw in in such detail. Here you will find all the results of the survey as well as other graphics and articles on drugs in Germany.

Update: The Global Drug Survey 2015 has started. Take part in the world's largest survey on drug use by December 20, 2014 and help make drug use safer (read more here).

We will be presenting the results to you exclusively in summer 2015 TIME ONLINE to introduce. You can also follow the survey on Twitter via # GDS2015 and @GlobalDrugSurvy. Reports and background information on the topic TIME ONLINE you'll find here.