The Use of Psychoactive Substances and Illegal Drugs in the Albanian Society

Author(s): Linda Matua , Guido Muharremi , Elizana Petrela , Mirnela Koçibelli , Gentian Vyshka* , Bledar Xhemali .

Journal Name: Current Drug Research Reviews

Volume 11 , Issue 1 , 2019

Become EABM
Become Reviewer

Graphical Abstract:


Abstract:

Background: To create a representative picture of the prevalence and the total number of drug users in Albania from 2012 to 2016, and compare those numbers to previous years with other available data.

Methods: The required data for the conductance of this study was collected from three different fronts, namely The Institute of Forensic Medicine (IFM), Clinical Toxicology and Addictions Service, University Hospital "Mother Theresa" Tirana (CTS) and Methadone Maintenance Treatment Centers. The study targets all individuals who have consumed at least once abusive drugs and psychotropic substances during the period 2012-2016 in the Republic of Albania. A total of 7050 reported cases over the given period were reviewed.

Results: Overall, Cannabis Sativa was the highest consumed drug, present in 62.58% of the cases. Other substances with a noticeable prevalence of use were heroin (15.02%) and cocaine (5.1%). It was found out that there were 36 drug-related deaths from 2012 to 2016. During this period of time, only 9 individuals resulted positive for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), of which, one positive for Hepatitis C and the remaining 8 positives for HIV. About 25% of drug users in Albania belong to the young subgroup of the population (13-32 years old).

Conclusion: Overall, taking into consideration all three databases, the number of drug users has significantly increased. There are more officially reported drug users today compared to 2012, however, different trends are observed during different periods. Youngsters are more eager and tempted to use and experiment more with safer and less harmful drugs like cannabis, meanwhile, as age increases, there is a tendency to shift towards more potent and dangerous drugs. Prevention and reducing the prevalence of use of psychoactive drugs is one of the main goals of public health.

Keywords: Drug abuse, cannabis, opiates, cocaine, addiction, psychoactive drugs.

[1]
Ylli A, Kakarriqi E, Dedja B. National study on problematic drug usersAssessment of the number of abusers and drug abuse models, Albania 2014-2015 Institute of Public Health Bulletin 2015; 3 .
[2]
Zekaj X. School and Qualitative Educational Services - as a Key for a Stable Social Development Acad J Interdiscip Stud 2015; 4(1 S1): 165-168
[3]
Kakarriqi E. An Epidemiological Overview of Drug Misuse in Albania 25th meeting of experts in epidemiology, Council of Europe, Pompidou Group, Strasbourg 1996; November 25-26, PPG (97) 2.
[4]
Kakarriqi E. Albania National Report on Primary Drug Prevention within the CommunityPHARE Programme TA to DDR (Technical Assistance to Drug Demand Reduction), October 1999
[5]
Gould TJ. Addiction and cognition. Addict Sci Clin Pract 2010; 5(2): 4-14.
[6]
Rogers RD, Everitt BJ, Baldacchino A, et al. Dissociable deficits in the decision-making cognition of chronic amphetamine abusers, opiate abusers, patients with focal damage to prefrontal cortex, and tryptophan-depleted normal volunteers: evidence for monoaminergic mechanisms. Neuropsychopharmacology 1999; 20(4): 322-39.
[7]
Ornstein TJ, Iddon JL, Baldacchino AM, et al. Profiles of cognitive dysfunction in chronic amphetamine and heroin abusers. Neuropsychopharmacology 2000; 23(2): 113-26.
[8]
Solowij N, Stephens RS, Roffman RA, et al. Marijuana Treatment Project Research Group. Cognitive functioning of long-term heavy cannabis users seeking treatment. JAMA 2002; 287(9): 1123-31.
[9]
Neuroscience of psychoactive substance use and dependence. World Health Organization. Geneva 2004; 1-264.
[10]
Behavioural and Biological Surveillance Study Albania. 2013 Joint United Nations programme on HIV/AIDS. Final Report 2013; 1-24.
[11]
Kakarriqi E, Ylli A, Sulaj Z, Bino S, Bani R, Selfollari S. Albania: 2013 National Report (up to 2012 Data) to the EMCDDA on Drug Situation: New Development, Trends and In-depth Information on Selected Issues. Institute of Public Health Tirana 2014; pp. 1-151.
[12]
Republic of Albania, National Drugs Strategy 2012-2016 [Available at: http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/attachements.cfm/att_ 233898_EN_Albania%20-%20national%20drug%20strategy% 202012-2016.pdf; accessed August 16th, 2018].
[13]
Lachenmeier DW, Rehm J. Comparative risk assessment of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and other illicit drugs using the margin of exposure approach. Sci Rep 2015; 5: 8126.
[14]
Haney M, Ward AS, Comer SD, Foltin RW, Fischman MW. Abstinence symptoms following oral THC administration to humans. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 1999; 141(4): 385-94.
[15]
Gable RS. Toward a comparative overview of dependence potential and acute toxicity of psychoactive substances used nonmedically. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse 1993; 19(3): 263-81.
[16]
Van Amsterdam J, Opperhuizen A, Koeter M, van den Brink W. Ranking the harm of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs for the individual and the population. Eur Addict Res 2010; 16(4): 202-7.
[17]
Available at. http://www.instat.gov.al/media/2263/popullsia_1_ janar_2017. pdf (accessed September 3rd, 2018).
[18]
ESPAD Report 2015 Results from the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (Available at: http://www.espad.org/sites/espad.org/files/ESPAD_report_2015.pdf accessed November 23rd, 2018).
[19]
Hemovich V, Crano WD. Family structure and adolescent drug use: an exploration of single-parent families. Subst Use Misuse 2009; 44(14): 2099-113.
[20]
Amey CH, Albrecht SL. Race and ethnic differences in adolescent drug use: the impact of family structure and quantity and quality of parental interaction. J Drug Issues 1998; 28: 283-98.
[21]
Barrett AE, Turner RJ. Family structure and substance use in adolescence and early adulthood: Examining explanations for the relationship. Addiction 2006; 101: 109-20.
[22]
Kakarriqi E, Sulaj Z. Albania in DRSTP IIPompidou Group Drug Demand Reduction Staff Training Project (DRSTP II), Strasbourg, 20 March 2000 (P-PG/Training (2000) 1), and 20 September 2000 (P-PG/Training (2000)
[23]
Kakarriqi E, Sulaj Z. National report on the drug situation in Albania, 2000 PHARE Project on Drug Information Systems Bridging Phase. European Commission Brussels 2000.
[24]
Kakarriqi E, Alban Y. Zihnis, et al Albania: Annual Reports Questionnaire, Part II – Drug Abuse (extent, patterns and trends of drug abuse) Reporting year 2003 (E/NR/2003/2), 2004 (E/NR/2004/2), 2005 (E/NR/2005/2), 2006 (E/NR/2006/2), 2007 (E/NR/2007/2) Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg.
[25]
Kakarriqi E, Sulaj Z. Albania In 3rd Multi-City Study: Drug Use Trends in European Cities in the 1990s. Council of Europe Publishing Strasbourg 2001; pp. 28-9.


Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

VOLUME: 11
ISSUE: 1
Year: 2019
Page: [73 - 79]
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.2174/1874473711666180719141731
Price: $58

Article Metrics

PDF: 50
HTML: 2