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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Cyprus youth look to police for drugs information ]

Cyprus youth look to police for drugs information

THE YOUTH of Cyprus would sooner ask the police than search the internet for information on illicit drugs, a recent survey found.

According to a Eurobarometer study on teenagers and illicit substances, Cypriots and Greek ranked the lowest of the EU27 in terms of searching the internet for information (45%), while the EU average was 61. The low results could possibly reflect a lack of information in the Greek language online than demand. Holland and Portugal topped the internet searchers at 75 per cent.

Oddly, a quarter of Cypriot teens said they would sooner approach the police about information on drugs before asking a fellow student, a teacher, or a hotline.

The findings also revealed that, while still difficult, young Cypriots say it is easier to buy cannabis or ecstasy than cocaine and heroin. When asked about ease of access, 21 per cent of respondents said it was fairly easy to buy cannabis, ten per cent below the EU average. Almost 20 per cent (18%) of respondents said it was easy to access ecstasy, while 15 per cent said heroin was easily available. All these figures were below the EU average.

Over half (56%) the youth polled in the Czech Republic said it was very easy to access cannabis. Predictably, the Netherlands was also among the top in the poll (45%) for access to cannabis, where the substance is legal in small amounts.

In the poll, teens were asked how they found out about the possible effects and risks of drugs. Thirty per cent of Cypriot youths said they found out through the internet, which was just below the EU27 mean of 35. The remaining majority (54 per cent) were split, saying they found out most information about the risks through their parents and friends.

Cyprus also held the biggest percentage of teens who believe the risk of cannabis to be very high. When polled, 62 per cent of respondents said they believed marijuana posed a high risk to a person’s health, high above the 40 per cent EU27 average. At the bottom of the scale, only 17 per cent of youth from the Czech Republic shared this view.

With Romania and Sweden, Cypriot youth also ranked among the highest respondents who believed that cannabis should continue to be banned (91%). This was 24 per cent above the EU27 average. Only 16 per cent of Cypriots responded that the government should relax the laws on cannabis and instead should adopt a set of rules to regulate the sales and consumption of this drug.

Oddly enough, out of all member states, Cyprus youth said they found it hardest to obtain alcohol and tobacco. Almost 80 per cent (78%) find it easy or very easy to obtain tobacco and 83 per cent find it easy to get alcohol. Though the percentage may look high, compared to all other member states it is in fact the lowest, with the mean for most EU countries starting at 97 per cent.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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