Average age of drug usage falls to 16: Report
The average age of drug usage has decreased to as low as 16 in Turkey, a study that sheds light on how first-time drug users develop the habit has shown.
The comprehensive research that has been carried out with 550 inpatient drug addicts by Kültegin Ögel, the Medical Director of the Moodist Psychiatry and Neurology Hospital, and his medical team reveals that some 27 percent of addicts start using substances before the age of 14.
The age of starting to use substances during the daytime is 19 and the age of starting to use heavy drugs is around 20, according to the research that determined that 75 percent of addicts fall into the trap of drug dealers before the age of 18.
Those who start using drugs for the first time also experience hard drugs such as heroin, hydrocodone and oxycodone after an average of four years. The rate of those who say that they use hard drugs under the age of 18 is 35 percent.
Speaking to daily Milliyet, Professor Ögel said that it is worrying that the average age of addiction has fallen to 16.
“The average age at which there is a serious deterioration in education is 16 years old. At the age when young people who are caught in the trap first start using drugs, their education life is also deteriorating,” Ögel said.
“According to the findings, young people start using drugs regularly at an average of 18 years old, two years after they start using drugs for the first time,” the expert said, stressing that interventions to be made before starting regular substance use can prevent regular substance use.
“Therefore, it is important to seek treatment at an early stage,” he added, noting that early intervention is important for the success of treatment and for the prevention or reduction of harm.