Youth in Serbia gets into drugs as young as 17
By: Andjela Jovanovic
Drug addiction is regarded as an addiction dessease caused by a psychoactive substance which alters concience, but also other mental functions. Group of psychoactive substances consists of opoids and stimulants, most infamous being heroin and morfium, halucinogenic like LSD but also marijuana, which is at the same time stimulative and halucinogenic.
According to the official data given by the Ministry of health, youth starts experimenting with drugs in high school, around 17 years of age. On average, the time it takes from first experiences until seeking medical help is 10 years.
- Today´s society brings high demands to an individuals shoulder, and drugs are most commonly hte solution that helps this everyday struggle with problem. It all takes a high toll, esspetialy on those young people that are by their nature more sensible and are only looking for a way to get by and fit in. It is those kind individuals that slip into addiction more easily – says sociologist Aleksandar Stošić
Parents often, in their good intentions to get their children away from „bad influences“, send them away to institutions which are not meant for curing addictions in the first place.
- Work therapy, life in comunes attached to churches, even punishing by physical harming, all the way to murders with a shovel are just some of the ways in which addicts, and their parents look for an escape from drugs – Stošić says, reminding us of some cases covered by the media.
Progress towards the solution of the problem is noted in the last couple of years. Some schools in cooperation with medical staff and political experts are trying to educate parents, students and teachers, and bring them closer to this problem and harmful consequences which drugs can cause.
- If anyone has a problem with substances, Institute for mental health is always open for them – advises Stošić.
An NGO „Udruženje Putokaz“ is also active in preventing and helping addicts, and recenty a group of volunteers has started a project „Child, don´t give up“ which includes students from elementary and high schools.