Expatica news

Youth drug use on the rise

9 December 2004

BRUSSELS – Over 32 percent of 15-16 year olds in Belgium have tried cannabis and street prices for many drugs are falling, according to new statistics.

The figures were presented by the scientific institute of public health (ISP) in its 2004 national report on drugs, La Libre Belgique said on Thursday.

The report contains information on political and legal frameworks as well as epidemiological studies and also statistics on medico-social action.

The study homes in on the fact that 32.2 percent of 15-16 year olds have used marijuana/hashish in their lives, with consumption of the drug rising to 16.7 percent last month.

This compares with the smaller figure of five percent of young people who have tried magic mushrooms.

Boys are more inclined to take drugs than girls, with the exception of sedatives and tranquillisers.

In Flanders, the average age of trying cannabis for the first time is 16.3 years old.

The report makes no correlation with the figures and the recent loosening of laws on recreational drugs.

A similar study on the use of hard drugs in 2003 has not been carried out but sources close to the issue say that the number of injecting drug addicts is falling.

When it comes to drug deaths, three in four are men.

In 2003, the price of illegal drugs had fallen in comparison to previous years, with the exception of LSD.

Ecstasy prices went down by EUR1 between 2001 and 2003.

At today’s prices, consumers can buy three for EUR10.

Cocaine remains the most expensive illegal substance, with an average price of EUR 45 per gram.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news