TURKEY tr-national

Istanbul, Antep head deaths due to drug use

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet | 1/21/2010 12:00:00 AM |

The lowest age of drug users in Turkey has declined to 11, while the country's oldest addict is 67 years old, says a recent report by a drug and drug addiction center.

The age of the youngest drug users in Turkey has declined to 11, while the oldest addict is 67 years old, according to a report by the Turkish Drug and Drug Addiction Monitoring Center, or TUBİM.

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, while the most fatalities occur in Istanbul, Gaziantep, Van, Elazığ and Antalya, in that order.

Synthetic drugs, especially ecstasy, are a major threat for Turkey and the surrounding region, according to the report. But the main drug that is bought and used in the country is marijuana.

Among 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.

[HH] Increase in treatment applications

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. Most people seeking treatment for drug use are unemployed.



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