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Marijuana most widespread illegal drug in CzechRep – survey

ceskenoviny.cz

Prague – Marijuana is the most widespread illegal drug in the Czech Republic, though the number of its users has grown less steeply in the past few years, Viktor Mravcik, head of the National Drugs and Drug Addiction Monitoring Centre, told journalists today.

In the past period a problem emerged with new synthetic drugs that stay outside the state bodies´ control and that pose a challenge to anti-drug policy all over Europe, Mravcik said.

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction released its annual report in Lisbon today. It said Europe is a place where ecstasy and drugs based on amphetamine are produced, while methamphetamine, or pervitine, is traditionally the main drug produced in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

In the past years, Czech producers started to export pervitine to Germany, the report says.

It says the threat of infectious diseases linked to intravenous use of drugs has been high in Europe.

This also applies to the Czech Republic where the risk is the highest in prison facilities, in which one-tenth to one-fourth of inmates are intravenous drug users.

In the overall population, only a half percent of people use drugs intravenously.

The number of problem drug users reached 39,200 in the 10.5-million Czech Republic last year. The number of intravenous users increased to 37,200.

Mravcik said heroin poses the main drug problem in Europe, causing the largest health and social damage of all.

In the Czech Republic, a bigger problem is pervitine. The Czech Republic is Europe´s front-runner in terms of pervitine use, said Jindrich Voboril, national anti-drug policy coordinator.

Of all Czech problem drug users, two-thirds use pervitine.

Nevertheless, the most widely used drug in Europe, including the Czech Republic, is marijuana.

The European report recalls states´ budget cuts and their possible impact on anti-drug policies.

Voboril said the Czech spending on anti-drug policy gradually decreased in the past decade, but this year, when Europe resorts to cuts, the situation in the Czech Republic has paradoxically started to improve.

The Czech Republic spends a total of 400 million crowns on drug addiction prevention and treatment a year.

($1=18.845 crowns)

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