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Drugs in Spain

Yesterday Spain’s Health Minister warned congress that according to latest figures Spain is one of Europe’s highest consumers of cocaine, cannabis and extasis, and she said that the existing National Drugs Plan needed to be revised in order to reverse the trend.

As far as cocaine is concerned, Spain has Europe’s largest number of consumers. According to the statistics revealed by the Minster yesterday, cocaine consumption among the Spanish population has doubled in the past 10 years.

The number of cannabis users is also rising and Spain, Denmark and the UK have the dubious honour of leading the Europe’s league of cannabis consumption. 36% of Spanish adolescents between 14 and 18 (in other words 762,000) young people have consumed cannabis at some time in the past twelve months – this is double the consumption figure in Spain 10 years ago.

Cannabis and cocaine are not the only problem. 27% youngsters between 14 and 18 años admit to having got drunk in the past month (31,8% more than 10 years ago) and consumption of new addictive substances such as liquid extasis is also on the rise.

The only area in which the National Drugs Plan seems to have been successful is in heroine consumption where figures show that the number of heroine addicts has gone down. Salgado said the the Governments priority now must be to reduce drug consumption among Spanish adoslescents and to analyse how to get over to them the terrible risks of taking drugs in the short and long term.

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