Giovedì, 20 Settembre 2018
ROME

Italian drug consumption down, but youth at risk

English
© ANSA

(ANSA) - Rome, August 6 - Drug consumption in Italy is
continuing on a downward trend, although more students are using
cannabis and alcohol abuse and gambling is rising in the 15-19
age range, according to a report to parliament
According to a survey of 18,000 people, there are an
estimated 2.3 million drug users in the 15-64 age range,
according to figures from the 2012 annual parliamentary report
by the Department of Drug Policy, which is headed by the
minister for international cooperation and integration, Andrea
Riccardi.
Riccardi warned of the dangers of oversimplifying the data,
saying that although there has been an overall decline in drug
use over the past few years, the types of drugs used and the
tendencies of users differ from data collected in 2010.
The use of drugs such as Ketamine and ecstasy, for example,
has not decreased.
And while young people overall are using less cocaine and
hallucinogenic drugs, no decline was recorded in the 16-17 age
bracket.
In the south of Italy and among certain groups of women,
heroin use is on the rise despite a national decrease.
And in the last month a drop in consumer spending has been
linked to a spike in the number of students who have tried the
deadly drug.
The report said 7.5% of students in the 15-19 age bracket
admitted to having had problems with gambling at some point in
their lives.
Riccardi said he hoped that "stricter rules on advertising
and greater awareness about gambling addiction will protect the
most vulnerable groups, including adolescents and the elderly".
Giovanni Serpelloni, the head of the department for
anti-drug policies, said that the war on drug trafficking and
dealing will be intensified to support regional operations,
particularly the illegal cultivation of cannabis which has seen
a 1.29% increase of crop seizures.
Similar attention will be paid to the phenomenon of drug
dealing online.
"That does not just concern illegal drugs," said
Serpelloni, "but also counterfeit pharmaceuticals which are
taken alongside illegal drugs".

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