Study Examines Drug Abuse in Turkey

Study Examines Drug Abuse in Turkey

A new report by the Turkish Drug and Drug Addiction Monitoring Center shows that the youngest age of drug abusers in Turkey is 11, while the oldest is 67. Released last month, the report also shows the route of drug trafficking, which starts in Afghanistan and passes through Turkey to reach Italy and Germany, and then disperse throughout all of Europe.

Among addictive drugs, heroin is the major cause of death, and the majority of fatalities occur in Istanbul, Gaziantep, Van, Elazig, and Antalya, in that order.

The report also says that synthetic drugs, especially Ecstasy, are a major threat for Turkey and the surrounding region. But the main drug that is bought and used in the country is marijuana.

Among the students surveyed, 80 percent said they do not know where they can find drugs; among the 20 percent who do, however, the percentage is higher for girls than boys. Twelve percent of girls say they know where to find drugs—generally at bars and discos. Students also say they can easily find drugs on the street, in parks, at the house of a drug dealer, and in front of schools.

According to data from the Health Ministry, there was an increase in applications for treatment among heroin addicts in 2009. Slightly more than 50 percent of addicts received treatment for use of opium and its derivatives, while 30 percent sought help for marijuana use, 3 percent for cocaine, and 2 percent for other stimulants.

Slightly more than 50 percent of addicts under treatment were seeking it for the first time, while 45 percent had requested treatment before. The report found that most people seeking treatment for drug use are unemployed.

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