Statistics do not reveal real number of teens taking drugs

As many as 68 adolescents who take drugs are officially registered at the national rehabilitation centers. However, specialists say the real number of teens addicted to drugs is much higher. It is very hard to identify drug takers as fewer such people now seek help, IPN reports.

In a round table meeting, UNICEF Moldova specialist in communication and development Sergiu Tomsa said that there is a huge difference between the official statistical data and the reality. A UNICEF study that focused on teens facing an increased risk of getting HIV/AIDS revealed that almost 400 young people mainline drugs. “The number of teens who experiment with drugs is very high. They are practically invisible. When they are identified, it is hard to work out prevention, treatment or rehabilitation programs,” said the UNICEF representative.

According to the director of the National Narcology Hospital Mihai Oprea, the environment, the free time and the people’s indifference are the factors that make a child to take drugs. The treatment is very long and complex. Any situation of stress and depression can bring the disease back. The persons who stop taking drugs are under medical supervision for three years. These persons are involved in different activities and are offered psychological assistance.

Ala Yatsko, head of the Balti-based Youth-Friendly Health Center ATIS, said the young people do not admit that they take drugs. “We do not have rehabilitation programs adapted for teens. The existing programs are intended for adults. Also, there are very few rehabilitation centers,” she stated. According to her, the adolescents do not seek help. It is the family members who do it. The drug takers are also identified by the police. A number of 3,000 teens and young people taking different kinds of drugs were discovered in Balti alone.

According to the National Narcology Hospital, 9,000 persons taking drugs were identified in Moldova. About 80% of them are residents of Chisinau municipality. The rehabilitation treatment last for at least two months and costs over 5,000 lei. There are four rehabilitation centers for drug addicts in Moldova.

The discussion was held within a meeting organized by the Journalistic Investigations Center and UNICEF Representative Office.

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