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drug use problem among youth is even greater than before.

Youth under 35 represent the largest group seeking treatment for drugs of abuse in Africa and Latin America.

Cannabis use among aged 15-16 is 5.8% , which is higher than the general population (aged 15~64) rate (4.1%).


Findings suggest that individuals aged 24 and younger are more likely to have increased their cannabis use during the COVID-19 pandemic,

compared to those 25 and older. Specifically, 46% of 16-19 year olds and 40% of 20-24 year olds reported an increase in the amount and frequency of use, while only 25% of 25+ years olds reported the same.

What’s more, research indicates that youths tend to have a greater incidence of drug use than adults, and in numerous countries, the current levels of drug usage among young people surpass those of previous generations.


Then how to cope with the current increasing problem of drugs of abuse among the youths?

Here are some suggestions from experts:

1. Increase publicity and raise awareness about the risks of drugs of abuse among young people, and strengthen education on the potential physical and mental health risks associated with drugs of abuse. For example, promote information about the dangers of drugs and drug prevention knowledge through social media and other online platforms.

2. Promote prevention and treatment options for young people with with drug use disorders , that are backed by evidence. Such options include mental health services, drug screening, brief interventions, health services referral, and family therapy.


Source: UNODC, World Drug Report 2022

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