"19 percent of schoolchildren in Lithuania said they had tried drugs at least once or twice, including 21 percent of boys and 18 percent of girls," Renaldas Ciuzas, director of the Lithuanian Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department, told a press conference on Monday, presenting the results.
In his words, the international survey shows that the emergence of new psychotropic substances is stabilizing in Europe but drug use and ease of access among young people are raising concern as "increasingly more young people confirm they have fairly easy access to drugs".
Young people in Lithuania start using narcotic and psychotropic substances fairly early, during their school years, Ciuzas said. In his words, cannabis remains the most popular drug among young people in Lithuania, and others also include LCD, hallucinogens, ecstasy and cocaine.
"4 percent of schoolchildren in Lithuania are in a high risk cannabis use, and as much as 24 percent of them say it's easy to get them," Ciuzas said.
The survey also shows the use of new psychotropic substances with effect similar to traditional drugs, like cannabis or ecstasy, is rarer among schoolchildren. 7 percent of all schoolchildren have tried them at least once. In most cases they said they had used herbal smoking mixes or liquid forms. They said they had seldom used substances in the form of powder, crystals or pills.
Synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones prevail on the market as 4.5 and 0.9 percent of the young people surveyed respectively said they had used them.
Specialists from the Lithuanian Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department are also concerned over the existing emergence of face medications, like XANAX, not only in Europe but also in Lithuania. They say a new dangerous psychotropic substance has been found in tthem and the use of such pills pose real danger to people's health and even lives.
The latest ESPAD survey of almost 25,000 schoolchildren aged 15-16, was carried out in early April, 2019.