Drug use doubled over last three years in Cyprus

Cyprus Mail runs an article with some statistics of drug use in Cyprus.  It is said that drug use doubled over the last three years.  That’s not too good.  But the report itself is hard to understand – quotes say one thing and numbers say another.  For example:

“Cannabis is not so fashionable anymore among young people,” said EKTEPN head Neoclis Georgiadis. “The United States and Europe had their [cannabis] peak in the nineties, our peak was in 2004. We are ten years behind Western Europe.”

That’s on one hand.  And on the other:

THE PERCENTAGE of cocaine and cannabis users in Cyprus doubled between 2006 and 2009 with more women using, and a hike from zero to 1.6 per cent in the 55-64 age group taking up cannabis, it emerged yesterday.

Judging by what I can only see around myself, cannabis use more than doubled.  People who were occasional users before seem to do it more often, and those who wouldn’t even think about smoking pot just a few years ago, seem to welcome an opportunity now.  Also, on a few occasions where I could observe the high-school generation, I was rather surprised as to how familiar they are with the drug, how easily they can access it and how integrated it is with their culture.  I obviously can’t compare it to my own high-school years, but I’d says that even during my college years in this country the situation wasn’t the same.

And for the record, since I did mention cannabis, I have to say that I was pretty much neutral on the legalization issue for a long time.  Now I am more inclined towards legalizing it.  However, it should be clearly separated from the rest of the drugs, which should remain illegal.  And I do think that there is a whole lot of education to be done if legalization is to be considered.  Here is a place to start – real facts about drugs.

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