Eurobarometer Findings on the Situation on Drugs in Europe – Through the Eyes of the European Youth Organizations

Organized by Active – Sobriety, Friendship and Peace and Europe Against Drugs in partnership
with the Icelandic Centre for Social Research and Analysis.

Elsa Mata
Ecstasy is thought to be particularly harmful, especially its regular use. The same for cocaine.
Tough measures against drug dealers and traffickers are thought to be the most effective way for public authorities to reduce drug problems according to the survey. Making drugs legal was the least common response according to the survey.

Samson Rentsch
“Overall drug use is likely to continue to be linked primarily to youth.” – UNODC, World Drug Report 2012
Over 50% of eurobarometer survey takers think that cannabis is fairly easy or very easy to access.
Active advocates for drug free environments for youth, a stronger focus on prevention, free and easily accessible treatment for users, and that a social rehabilitation and community service approach should be taken in regards to the possession of drugs especially among children and young people.

Jon Sigfusson
Substance use in Iceland among 15-16 year olds (in form of drinking the last 30 days, daily smoking, or cannabis use once or more) has declined significantly since 1998. This is attributed to effective prevention via evidence based actions/policy, focus on primary prevention, addressing risk (staying out late, etc.) and protective factors (parental factors, participation in extracurricular and organized activities, etc.), and regularly mapping/monitoring. Key issues are to work on prevention at a local level, conduct immediate reporting, create local dialogue, and make a long-term commitment to prevention. Benefits of less substance use among youth includes less health problems, less crime and imprisonment, reduced social benefit cost, less rehabilitation cost, and fewer broken families.

Hannah Arndt
High levels of peer pressure facing youth in terms of drug use. Don’t need to focus so much on telling youth how harmful drugs are, as this is already known. Rather, create an environment where youth feel safe and can develop their own views of drugs.

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