"In America and Britain, where the authorities conduct regular surveys of drug-taking, cocaine use has fallen steeply since around 2008. In most of Europe heroin addiction is becoming rare. Wholesale cocaine prices have risen sharply over the past decade, partly thanks to eradication efforts in Colombia and elsewhere squeezing supply, pushing up prices and hitting quality. In Europe much cocaine is now laced with levamisole, a cattle-deworming drug. Heroin, too, is pricier and of worse quality; some batches in Europe appear to have been infected with anthrax."
"In most of Europe heroin addiction is becoming rare." -- well, that seems a pretty major thing to say (or maybe it's an urban-centric / LDNmediacentric thing to say, dunno) - but no doubt they have the stats to back it up. I live in a small rural town and it's rife around here - has been for years. The dealing and usage is blatant, constant and done in broad daylight. The budgets and social infrastructure to support addicts / offer social alternatives / meeting places get hacked to the bone in rural areas first, and it was always piss-poor in the first place, down here in my part of the West Country. I hear similar stories from people in South and Central Wales - a lot of small town / village addiction, mostly unreported / ignored, people falling through a big hole in stats, welfare and newspapers. They don't live in an area that's sufficiently gentrified or is a significant votes cache.
(Price increases of heroin are a result of what, though? Successes in 'The War on Drugs'? Better inter-border policing / intelligence? Some other factor(s)?)
On a lighter note, was amused how the piece picked up its own variety of drugrush-like idiot-glee as it went along, luxuriating in names and economic delivery-systems of drugs - a sort of journalistic metabolic acceleration - before sobering itself up in the last paragraph or so.