Most Slovaks in rehab are coming off methamphetamines

The 25 to 29 age group make up the highest share of rehab patients.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: Sme – Tomáš Benedikovič)

Altogether 3,106 drug users went into rehab in Slovakia last year, a reduction of 147 year-on-year. However, in the past 10 years, their number has increased by 1,050, the TASR newswire reported.

Most of them were using stimulants, mostly methamphetamines, according to the data of the National Health Information Centre (NCZI).

The long-term trend suggests that more men than women are in rehab.

“This concerns mostly young people aged 25-29 years, which comprises 22 percent of the total number,” said Peter Blaškovitš, head of NCZI, as quoted by TASR, adding that the number of patients younger than 14 years has increased from seven to 11.

Opiates addiction dropped

The rehab facilities reported 1,192 clients addicted to stimulants, of which 96 percent were addicted to methamphetamines. Their share has not changed in annual terms, but when compared to 10 years ago, it has increased 2.2 times.

At the same time, the number of people addicted to opiates has dropped by 2 percent year-on-year to 760. Of them, 607 were addicted to heroin.

On the other hand, the users of cannabis increased by 1 percent compared with last year to 743. Of them, 96 percent were addicted to marijuana. Their number has increased by nearly 2.5 times compared with 2008, TASR wrote.

What are the trends?

As well as primary drugs, 1,900 also used secondary drugs. One can notice certain changes in the long-term horizon, said Ľubomír Okruhlica, chief expert of the Health Ministry for drug addiction medicine. The average age of drug users is higher, while more of them use more types of drugs. They use needles and take more stimulants, he told TASR.

Of those in rehab the most patients had permanent residency in the Bratislava Region, and the fewest in the Prešov Region.

“The highest number of addicted people come from the unemployed group, while from the point of view of education most of the men had a secondary school education but left without passing exams and the women had a basic education,” Blaškovitš said, as quoted by TASR.

The main reason for rehab was given as the patients’ own initiative or the initiative of their family and friends (38.4 percent), followed by an order issued by the court and the police (25.4 percent).

Okruhlica says they can help 70-90 percent of patients.

“It depends on the diagnosis and the patients’ expectations,” Okruhlica said, as quoted by TASR, “our long-term study suggests that two-thirds of them become clean over a longer period, while the health condition of the others partially improves, and 10 percent do not make any significant improvement.”

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