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Current Drug Research Reviews


ISSN (Print): 2589-9775
ISSN (Online): 2589-9783

Research Article

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

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

Volume 11, Issue 1, 2019

Page: [73 - 79] Pages: 7

DOI: 10.2174/1874473711666180719141731


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.

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