Drug use by teenagers in
the former East Bloc doubled in the years between 1995 and 1999, bringing
Eastern European teen usage rates nearly in line with those of Western
Europe, according to the United Nations' annual survey of global drug trends
(http://www.undcp.org/global_illicit_drug_trends.html). In five countries (Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia), the number of teens trying
an illegal drug at least once doubled, and in Lithuania the number increased
Thirty-four percent of Czech
16-year-olds had tried marijuana, the survey found, a figure comparable
to rates in high consuming western countries such as England and the Netherlands.
And the Czech figures highlight a point salient throughout the region:
although drug use has doubled, most of it is marijuana use. "It is
true that the figure has almost doubled," UN researcher Sandeep Chawla
told Radio Free Europe, "but as regards the use of highly dangerous drugs,
that figure has not gone up nearly as much."
Neither do the figures indicate
a looming crisis, said Chawla. "More young people are certainly taking
drugs," he conceded, "but it does not mean that you can conclude from this
that it is problematic drug use."
The UN researcher implicitly
blamed the lack of a strong totalitarian police state for the trend.
He cited the opening of borders since the collapse of the Soviet Bloc and
"the openness of the economies and the systems. Obviously, if there's
more free trade in goods, then there are more possibilities for drugs to
get through across the borders."
-- END --
Issue #250, 8/16/02
A Message to Our Readers: 250 Issues of The Week Online | US Seeks Civil Injunction Against Lakota Hemp Grower, Supporters Celebrate Successful Harvest | DRCNet Interview: Jack Cole, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition | Initiatives Heat Up I: Tumultuous Week in Nevada, Cops Flip-Flop on Endorsement, Resort to Bald-Faced Lies | Initiatives Heat Up II: Storm Clouds over Ohio | Initiatives Heat Up III: Michigan Governor Flails and Fails in Anti-Initiative Move | Initiatives Heat Up IV: DC "Treatment Not Jail" Initiative Makes November Ballot, Excludes Marijuana, Heroin, Psychedelics | Initiatives Heat Up V: Arizona to Vote on Marijuana Decrim, Much More | Initiatives Heat Up VI: DC Board of Elections Rejected Thousands of Valid Signatures, MPP Challenging | Newsbrief: Afghan Heroin Labs Reappear | Newsbrief: Grateful Dead Reunion Just Like Old Days -- Many Arrested | Newsbrief: NJ Bans Devices That Defeat Drug Tests | Newsbrief: East Europe Teens Catching Up to West in Drug Use | Newsbrief: DARE Axed in Cincy -- Dayton Next? | Newsbrief: Canada Judge Rips DEA Law Violations | Newsbrief: NORML Not Allowed at Indiana State Fair | Newsbrief: Infected Needles, Alcoholism Lead to Increased Liver Damage, Deaths in England, Study Finds | Legislative Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision | The Reformer's Calendar
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