Pressure on ministers to find answers to youth addictions

first_imgThe ministers of education, health, justice and labour will attend a House education committee next month to discuss the “very serious” issue of substance abuse amongst students, it was announced on Wednesday.Committee chairman, Kyriakos Hadjiyiannis, said he asked the government officials to table in parliament a coordinated proposal for dealing with a growing problem of drug and alcohol use among the young, outlining existing measures and informing MPs of the unsettling results of the Europe-wide survey on alcohol and drug use in schools (Espad).In 2015, Cyprus ranked second on the Espad survey regarding alcohol consumption, surpassed only by Lichtenstein, with an average consumption of eight drinks (9.6 for boys and 6.7 for girls) within 30 days.The survey also showed that cannabis use by Cypriot students was at 16 per cent, more than double the European average of 7 per cent.An education ministry spokesperson told the House committee that a study was conducted on 1,100 students in November-December 2018 by the centre for educational research and evaluation (Keea), which found that results on cannabis and alcohol use remained at the same levels as those shown by the Espad survey.Feeling the pressure to deal with the matter, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou has met with the national addictions’ authority, and called for a programme for immediate intervention to support and treat student users, the ministry’s spokesperson added.The committee heard that during the school year of 2017-18 programmes were implemented in 33 secondary and high schools island-wide to deal with the cases of addiction, related to either drugs, alcohol, gambling or the internetThe issue is larger than drug or alcohol use, the spokesperson noted, as UN data show that 20 per cent of teenagers exhibit mental health issues such as stress and depression – a figure which accentuates the lack of specialist medical staff in schools to handle difficult cases.A student union (Psem) representative told the committee that the issue of drugs and alcohol requires the correct management of how the issue is communicated.At the end of January, the House education committee heard from the deputy chief of the drug squad, Stelios Sergides, that a total of 70 students were arrested in 2018 in connection to drugs, he said, 68 of whom were users between the ages of 15-18 who were then registered into treatment programmes. The other two were dealers.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoHealthCentral.com7 Sneaky Signs of Lung CancerHealthCentral.comUndo Remand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)UndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more