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Rapid assessment and response with youth, injecting drug users and prisoners

WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA publish a report on psychoactive substance use in Kosovo 
July 14, 2009 - Prishtinë/Pristina – WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA publish a report with the latest findings on psychoactive substance use. The report analyses the level of psychoactive substance use with youth, injecting drug users and prisoners.
The aim of the report is to document the situation on psychoactive substance use in Kosovo and to provide recommendations which should be taken into consideration when designing evidence-based interventions and programmes at the institutional and community level. 
The data presented in the rapid assessment and response can be used to track youth psychoactive drug use over time. The data reported in this survey indicate that drugs are available in Kosovo and all types of drugs are being used by Kosovo youth. The use is occurring in an environment with very limited prevention and treatment options. All types of psychoactive substances are found to be used by all ethnicities.

According to the results of the assessment, a large percentage of young people in Kosovo have smoked cigarettes (43.5%); a total of 37.8% of youth reported ever consuming alcohol; 3.8% of respondents reported having tried cannabis (marijuana, hashish, weed); less than half percent (0.4%) of young people reported having tried heroin; 2.6% reported having tried non-prescribed medications/drugs. The report contains other findings related to social and health issues of youth.
The assessment calls the Kosovo Government and other relevant actors to collaborate and support a coordinated response against psychoactive substance use and abuse in Kosovo. The report recommends the development of prevention programmes in schools and the communities, as well as targeted prevention programmes addressing the most at risk and marginalized groups. Comprehensive treatment programs from rehabilitation to maintenance need to be available for those in need. Current programmes do not have the capacity to treat all those who might seek treatment and do not offer the range of services that have been shown to be effective. Access to non-prescribed psychotropic drugs from pharmacies is a critical problem in Kosovo and needs to be addressed.  
For further information:

Arbena Kuriu
Communication Officer, UNICEF Kosovo
Tel: +381 38 249 230/1/2/3
Mobile: +377 44 221 935





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