Young People and Drugs

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In Spain, the number of young people under 16 asking for help to fight against their drug dependency has doubled in one year.
The Association for Drug Addicts Union (UNAD) presented at the beginning of February the profile of the “Spanish dependent”, a study on 41,000 drug addicts in treatment in different programmes.
Extracts from the study:
– In 2002, 1.9% of young people in treatment were under 16.  In 2003 the percentage had risen to 3.8%.  26% of those surveyed began taking drugs before they were 16.
– These young people are “poly- consumers” as they take at least two different types of drugs. Alcohol and synthetic drugs are the most commonly taken, and their use is equally high at the weekend.
– The most taken drug is heroin (in 24% of cases), followed by a heroin-cocaine mixture (20%), and in third place, cocaine (13%).
– 22% take drug intravenously.
– There has been a considerable rise in the use of synthetic drugs, de cocaine and other unrecognised drugs, for which there is no effective treatment (medication).
– The profile of the average drug addict – male, aged between 32 and 36, ill, with only basic education, unemployed (and has been for some time).  But there has been an increase in female drug addicts (11% in 1993, 36% in 2003).
– Only 1 in a 100 drug addicts has completed a university course, 39% have only basic education.
– 4 out of 10 drug addicts have had problems with the police.

For further information, see the category   SecuTopic Drugs as well as our article  “Protocol on the drug taking prison population”