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Heroin is no longer a major problem - it has been replaced by a synthesized cannabinoid

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Heroin is no longer a major problem - it has been replaced by a synthesized cannabinoid

The dependent scene in Croatia has changed significantly in the last ten years, so today it is characterized by an increasing number of neopictic addicts, cannabis and new drug users, along with the trend of ever-decreasing heroin exploitation, the government's Office for the Suppression of Drug Abuse for 2014. year.

The most popular drug addiction in Croatia is marijuana, but the so-called " new drugs, synthesized cannabinoids, sold in so-called " smart and tobacco shops.

Even 116 new drugs have been discovered last year

Last year, through the national early warning system, 116 discovered new psychoactive compounds in the EU and only in Croatia 18, in the form of herbal preparations, various resins, tablets and powders. They are sold as space fresheners under various marketing names - Galaxy, Atomix, Vertex, Bud Factory, Bonsai Cirtus.

Such mixtures of plants soaked with psychoactive suspicions are also available online, and are often offered in other stores in Croatia. They are advertised as "exotic fragrances that give a rich aroma" and are not for human use, but their smoking produces effects similar to those consumed in cannabis use.

Zoran Zoričić, head of the Department of Alcoholism and Addictive Diseases of KBC Sestre milosrdnice, says that Croatia shares trends across Europe, where these "new substances" have been the most intriguing and confusing for the last five years by the police, lawmakers and doctors.

So called. New drugs, also known as "legal highs" - new substances with psychoactive substances produced in "handy" chemical laboratories, and most of the drugs coming from the Netherlands, Belgium and the Baltic countries. The United States is faced with the right flurry of people who work various psychostimulants in home-based businesses based on the manuals downloaded from the internet. But no such laboratory has been discovered in Croatia so far.

Homemade Drugs

New craft "chemicals" - catinones, piperazines, synthetic cannabinoids, which mainly imitate amphetamines and the active ingredient of cannabis THC, are produced in home crafts. Their list every day is longer, the formulas all "more imaginative", and the action is more mysterious.

The government's report states that it is most often very potent and toxic compounds that cause many health problems and cause the increasing number of acute and fatal intoxications across the EU.

In order to suppress the spoils of such substances that are legally sold in Croatian stores, Minister of Health Siniša Varga in December 2014. has brought a new list of drugs, psychotropic substances and plants from which drugs can be obtained. This is the reason why all legal categories of legally available psychoactive compounds have been placed under Croatian legal regulation.

And the Government Office has worked a great deal for the last five to six years to suppress them. In March, 2014. have initiated coordinated supervision of smart shops, in cooperation with the police, the Ministry of Health, Sanitary Inspection and Customs. The action was conducted in nine cities where 15 was discovered by such stores and most of them were closed.

"It's about recreational psychostimulants, which do not cause a strong and fast addiction, but that does not mean they are not very dangerous. Consumers never know what exactly they have taken and in combination with alcohol can lead to cardiorespiratory failure and even death, "said psychiatrist Zoric.

The youngest users tend to experiment

Whole Europe has recorded an increase in the use of synthetic cannabinoids, similar to marijuana. They are synthesized in illegal labs, cheaper and more accessible than marijuana, which is difficult to illegally breed. In addition to smart shops, they are selling them to groups of peasants and tiny dealers who are heavily trained by the police. That is why more and more attention is being paid to preventive activities in schools - so that young people in time warn that they do not accept the offer.

Namely, for psychostimulants and cannabinoids, it is characteristic for them to try out the youngest, tend to experiment. The most vulnerable is the age group between 14. and 21. year of life - when young people are in conflict with the authorities and just forbidding the "forbidden fruit".

"Contemporary society tells young people that they have the right to everything and that everyone can try it. If they go for experimentation, they are most often cannabinoids and psychostimulants. Fortunately, they do not have an addictive potential, like heroin, enough to take two to three times to create addiction, "says Zoricic.

By researching the Eurobarometer among young people from 18 to 30 years, using new drugs Croatia is in the middle, it does not deviate from the average, like Poland or Ireland, which had flooded smart stores three to four years ago. There is also a problem with how to control online sales, as everything that is new in Germany for 15 is available in Croatia as well.

The incredible speed with which new compounds appear on the market is something that is under control, and then the manufacturer changes one molecule and a new substance emerges. Over the past five to six years, 400 compounds have appeared in Europe, Sanja Mikulić, deputy director of the Office of the Drug Enforcement Bureau, said.

There is no information in the Office of how many young people in Croatia use synthetic drugs because these consumers rarely appear in treatment, but surveys have shown that between 7 and 12 percent of young people in Croatia tried synthetic cannabinoids. "Their action increases pressure, causes weakness and nausea, but the biggest problem they never know is the amount they are and what kind of psychoactive substance they get into something that costs about twenty kuna," says Mikulić.

Heroin is for losers

Regarding the consumption of other drugs, the government's report shows that cocaine has remained a drug for "well-off", and the number of newly-identified heroin addicts has dropped five times in the last ten years.

"The fact is that there is no longer any opiate, heroin addiction that was dominated by Europe 80s and the Croatian 90s of the last century. The structure of users and offers has also changed. Among the youth, today's perception is that heroin is for gamblers. Whether they are old, puppeteers, "says Mikulic.

There is less and a seizure of heroin, which in the government office interprets successful international police actions and crossroads of delivery routes.

Experts warn that heroin addiction is the hardest, the fastest leads to apathy syndrome, lack of concentration, social and functional dysfunction ...

"At present we can say that we have a herion under control, in the last ten years the number of newly-trained addicts has decreased by five times, and heroin no longer has an epidemiological threat as before the 15 years. But what will be in the years to come, one can not say with certainty. There are predictions that opiate production in the Far East may have increased over time. If the heroin paths are reopened, we could again encounter this problem, "says Zoricic.

The Croatian model for heroin addicts among the best in the world

The Croatian treatment of heroin addicts by substitution therapy is one of the best such models in the world, recognized by many world experts. The system makes up the network of 20 County Centers, Mental Health Institutes, most of the addicted population has been removed from the streets and removed from the Naruto Miles, so there is less and less death due to toxicity.

Zoric is hoping that politics will not now undermine the system of actual 15 years, alluding to the proposed amendments to the Health Care Act that provided for addiction treatment to be relocated from county mental health centers to health care homes.

For the Croatian addictive scene he says he follows European trends, but the situation in the United States is different. Addiction to cocaine, especially cracking, is largely dependent on black population in the United States, while white matter is increasingly dependent on opioid analgesics. pain killerima.

The biggest addictive problem in the United States among the white populations is currently pain medicines, such as Zaildiar, an opiate-containing analgesic. It causes addiction to people with lumbar syndrome and cervical spas, who uncritically take it, and this phenomenon, along with such drugs, is slowly coming to European areas.

writes: Vedrana Larva (Hina)