Teens turn to dope and coke in record numbers

2nd December 2004, Comments 0 comments

2 December 2004, MADRID- The number of teenage cocaine users in Spain has quadrupled in the past ten years, the health minister said.

2 December 2004

MADRID- The number of teenage cocaine users in Spain has quadrupled in the past ten years, the health minister said.

Elena Salgado also said between 1994 and this year, the number of cannabis users between the ages of 14-18 had doubled.

Salgado, who was presenting a report on drug use in Spain, said it was "especially worrying" that the study found 87 percent of teenagers said it was easy to get alcoholic drinks.

She added that 64 percent of those asked also said cannabis was easy to come by and almost 54 percent said tranquillizers were also easily obtained.

Salgado said the report showed a "fall in the perception of the seriousness of drug-taking, possibly owing to the fact it was no longer associated with marginality and delinquency".

The study was carried out by the health department among teenagers aged between 14-18.

Among children at secondary schools, taking heroin and cocaine was thought to be the most dangerous form of drug-taking.

But they thought cannabis was the drug which caused the least problems.

Alcohol and tobacco were the most commonly used drugs, the report said.

Alcoholic drinks were mostly consumed at the weekend and cigarettes were smoked at any time.

More teenage girls smoked than boys.

But teenage boys who did smoke tended to smoke more intensively than girls.

Cannabis was the most widely-used illegal drug between teenagers

In 1994, only 18 percent of teenagers used cannabis, while this figure had doubled to 36 percent by 2004.

Cocaine use had risen from only 1.7 percent of the teenage population ten years ago, but was now 6.8 percent.

There was no rise in the use of amphetamines, Ecstasy or other class-A drugs, the report said.

Spain is carrying out a campaign to stop teenage drug-taking.

Salgado said: "The prevention is going to be fundamental line in combating drug-taking."

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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