Drug use doubles in one year
The Green Crescent (Yeşilay) organization, formed to fight the spread of alcoholism, smoking and drug abuse, marked International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking last Thursday by announcing the results of a recent report that reveals a significant increase in drug use in the country.
Yeşilay released a statement last week noting that drug use among schoolchildren and adults doubled between 2007 and 2006. The organization was citing information from a report by Dr. Nesrin Dilbaz, head of the Ankara Alcohol and Substance Abuse Therapy and Educational Center (AMATEM). The statement went on to point out other key findings in the report, noting that the city with the highest levels of narcotics use is Diyarbakır. The report attributed the increase of narcotics users in Diyarbakır to factors such as migration, poverty and large family size. The report also pointed to the young age of some drug offenders, noting that children as young as 11 years old had been involved in the sale of narcotics, as well as in other criminal activities such as mugging and stealing. The report, which was sent to the parliamentary commission to combat narcotics, noted that 67 percent of people applying for help from AMATEM were from the Southeast. Among child drug addicts, only 6 percent were defined as being street children, while a full 94 percent live with their families.