Age Differences In Psychoactive Substance Abuse In Population Of The Republic Of Belarus
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Background. The recent epidemiological studies conducted in Belarus point to a fall in the average age of registered drug abusers and in the age of drug use onset, an increasing proportion of injecting drugs, and addicted persons. The aim of the study was to evaluate the age differences in the prevalence of psychoactive substance abuse in the Republic of Belarus using the official data of the Ministry of Health. Material and methods. The data on registered drug abusers, who were recorded in the Narcological Register in health care institutions between 2000 and 2014, were analyzed. Results. During that period the number of drug abusers under observation increased almost 3 times, and the situation with the spread of psychoactive substances changed towards appearance of synthetic drugs. The spread of particular drugs (opioids, cannabinoides, inhalants, and Spice based designer drugs) was shown to be depended upon the age of registered drug abusers. Conclusion. The data obtained indicate necessity of the age-related studies on drug abuse prevalence, and might be useful for working up preventive measures to stop the spread of drug addiction.
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