Drug Abuse in the Global Village

Drug Abuse in Eastern Europe


A recent decrease in the number of solvent abusers was reported by the police. This is attributed to a switch to cannabis among other drugs. Cannabis is reported as becoming popular among young people. LSD was introduced to the market recently, although very few abusers are reported (Mission Report 1993).


The number of abusers of illicit and licit drugs has increased rapidly in recent years and their average age decreased (Bulgaria 1993).


Large increases in drug abuse were reported for opiates (heroin and synthetic narcotic analgesics) and cannabis. Some increase was noted for opium, cocaine, amphetamines and multiple drug abuse. A large decrease in morphine was reported. For all other drugs (hallucinogens, sedatives and volatile solvents), the situation was reported stable. The age of heroin addicts is decreasing and cocaine is reported newly available (U.N. 1992).

            The increase in the demand for drugs is attributed to the war, a decrease in the standard of living, the unstable political situation and the break in the continuity of preventive programmes (especially in schools). The large increase in the availability of drugs is reported due to the break of continuity of the special police work because of the war and a large increase in home made drugs. Drug trade has also become a source of income (U.N. 1992).

            An increase in the more liberal attitude of adolescents towards cannabis has been reported (U.N. 1992).


Abuse of volatile solvents and codeine is reported stable according to a 1990 reported (U.N. 1990). Some increase in the abuse of amphetamines is reported in 1990. A large increase in abuse of cannabis and methamphetamine is reported in 1991 (U.N., 1991). According to some reports the demand for drugs has reached epidemic proportions; the change is attributed to recent political and economic developments (Czechoslovakian Narcotic Office, 1992).


Some increase in the abuse of pharmaceutical preparation (dihydrocodeine, codeine, glutethimide and benzodiazepines, taken in combination with ephedrine) was reported for 1989.  Volatile solvents abuse is reported stable (U.N. 1989).


Some increase in the abuse of opium, heroin, cocaine, cannabis, hallucinogens, amphetamines and multiple drug abuse have been reported in 1992. A decrease was reported in the abuse of morphine, sedatives and volatile solvents as well as benzodiazepines, barbiturates and synthetic narcotic analgesics (U.N. 1992).

            The increase in demand for drugs has been attributed to the economic crisis affecting Latvia (high unemployment) and the emergence of narcobusiness as a means of income. The opening to the West has also facilitated contacts between drug traffickers. An increase in the availability of home made heroin has been reported in 1992 and is attributed to an increase in poppy cultivation and the development of extraction technology locally. Insufficient customs controls has resulted in increased imports and abuse of cannabis. Some cases of crack abuse have been reported in 1992, as well as of LSD. Multiple drug abuse is widespread (U.N. 1992).


Volatile substance abuse among young people is increasing. A significant increase in the illicit traffick of cocaine has been reported in 1991. The increase in the demand for illicit drugs is attributed among other factors to a rise in unemployment and the deterioration in the economic situation. The abolition of travel restrictions, increased availability of illicit amphetamines and decreased control over poppy following the gradual introduction of low morphine poppy varieties greatly increased the supply of illicit drugs (U.N. 1991).


Drug abuse was reported stable in 1992. The number of drug addicts registered does not lend itself to the observation of any trends (U.N. 1992).


A steady rise in the illegal distribution of narcotic drugs and an increase in the number of drug addicts was reported for 1993 (Policy 1993).

            In 1992, a decrease in the abuse of home-made preparations of various kinds of poppy and straw was reported while some increase was reported in the abuse of home-made hemp preparations (U.N. 1992).


Drug abuse is reported as increasing throughout the country and the age of the abusers is decreasing (Report 1993).


Abuse of heroin, cannabis, barbiturates and benzodiazepines are reported stable in 1992. However, an increase in the consumption of illicit drugs in general has been reported which is attributed to economic changes, democratization and migration. In addition, an increase in the availability of illicit drugs due to an increase in home production and trafficking has been noted. Drug abuse is reported to be spreading in rural areas (U.N. 1991,1992).

     The social attitude towards drugs in 1992 is reported to have become negative as opposed to indifferent in 1991 (U.N. 1991,1992).