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32% of students in Cyprus have used cannabis

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    32% of students in Cyprus have used cannabis – The results of the European Drug Report 2024

    Cocaine is the most commonly used illicit stimulant drug in Europe, according to the European Drug Report 2024, while in Cyprus < strong>32% of students state that they have used cannabis at least once in their life.

    At an event for the presentation of the results of the Report, on Tuesday, the President of the Cyprus Addiction Treatment Authority (AAEK), Dr. Christos Mina stated that in order to deal with the multidimensional problem of drug addiction, meaningful dialogue must be strengthened and cooperation policies must be created, as stated in a statement by AAEK.

    According to research32% of Cypriot students state that they have used cannabis at least once in their life, 18% that they have used cannabis in the last year and 11% in the last month.

    At the same time, according to the data presented cannabis seizures for 2023 amounted to 554 kg, an increase of more than 200 kg compared to 2022 (348 kg).

    Mr. Mina said in his welcome that this year's Exhibition highlights the emerging threats facing Europe from powerful synthetic substances, new drug mixes and changing trends in addictive substance use.

    He indicated that drugs remain readily available in Europe, with the market offering a wide variety of products.

    “To deal with the multidimensional problem of substance dependence, we need to strengthen meaningful dialogue and create cooperation policies”, Mr. Minas pointed out, adding that today, a special effort is being made for public debate, which can contribute to the recognition of changes and of the new threats in the field of substance dependence.

    As Mr. Minas pointed out, users are now exposed to a wider range of psychoactive substances, often of high potency or purity, or in new forms and combinations. He emphasized that of particular concern are powerful synthetic opioids, which are deceptively sold or mixed with drugs and other substances, as well as cannabis products adulterated with synthetic cannabinoids.

    “The Report highlights co-use, such as the use of benzodiazepines with opioids or the use of cocaine with alcohol, which increases health risks and complicates the provision of intervention services,” said the President of AAEK.

    Also, Mr. Minas continued, he warns that synthetic opioids, such as nitazenes, present a growing threat while pointing out that the quantities of cocaine seized in Europe are increasing for the sixth year in a row, which proves its high availability.

    He noted that the cannabis market is also changing, with the emergence of high-potency products and diversified forms of consumption. Reports, he said, of cannabis products containing synthetic cannabinoids are alarming and point to the need for intensive monitoring and research.

    Mr. Minas indicated that at the local level, AAEK creates the conditions for a safe framework for dealing with substance addiction. “Each euro spent on drug addiction saves many times the costs of suppression and health restoration, making the role of AAEK decisive,” he noted.

    “The problem of substance dependence, which knows no borders, is constantly leading to new developments in research and policy,” said Mr. Minas, noting that the European Center is a valuable guide and supporter for the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EKTEPN Cyprus) and the other focal points in Europe, providing critical data that guides the formulation of policies on substance addiction.

    Mr. Minas noted that as President of AAEK he places particular emphasis on research for scientific documentation of addiction policies, emphasizing that public access and publication of results is necessary for their utilization by the scientific community.

    Finally, he promised to continue monitoring the phenomenon and adapt policies and actions according to the needs of people who face the problem of substance addiction.

    Also, according to a statement from the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Addiction (EMCDDA ) for the European Drug Report 2024, it is noted that the availability of drugs remains high in Europe, where the market offers a wide range of products.

    It is reported that people who use drugs are now exposed to a wider range psychoactive substances, often of high potency or purity, or in new forms, mixtures and combinations.

    At the same time, it is pointed out that as products are sometimes mis-sold, consumers may not know what they are receiving and may be subject to greater health risks, including potentially fatal poisoning.

    According to the release, cocaine is the most commonly used illicit stimulant drug in Europe, used by around 1.4% (4 million) of European adults (15-64 years) in the last year. The information shows that cocaine is increasingly available in Europe, with a wider geographical and social distribution.

    It is also noted that most of the heroin consumed in Europe comes from Afghanistan, where the Taliban announced the banning opium and poppy cultivation in April 2022.

    Furthermore, five EU member states (Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands) as well as Switzerland have switched or are planning to switch their approach to the use and supply of cannabis for recreational purposes.

    As explained, these changes – which include home cannabis cultivation, non-profit grow clubs and private cannabis use – are described in the Report, which highlights the need to invest in monitoring and evaluation to fully understand their impact on public health and safety.

    Source: cyprustimes.com

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