Increasing number of drug addicts among young Serbs

The director of the Institute for Sociological and Criminological Research, Ivana Stevanović, spoke about the problem of drug addiction in Serbia, especially among young people, and the strategies in place to combat it.

“One-third of prison inmates in Serbia have been convicted of drug-related crimes or drug trafficking. These are most often crimes against property, i.e. theft and robbery, which are mostly committed by minors,” Stevanović said.

Official statistics show that the number of crimes committed by people under the age of 18 is not increasing, but it is worrying that there is an increase in the use of illicit substances in the 19-30 age group. According to the expert, the problem is that physiological maturity is often not accompanied by emotional maturity, and young people thus are prone to using psychoactive substances more,.

Stevanović underlines that it is important to address the problem in a multidisciplinary way because this is not only a legal problem but also a sociological and psychological one of the entire society. She also said that the state has tightened criminal policies and that today one can end up in prison even for a single joint.

“The question to ask is whether we should send drug users to prison or hospital. There should be a support programme for drug addicts in prisons and it is encouraging that one of these programmes will soon start to be implemented in Sremska Mitrovica prison. A big problem is that Serbian law does not regulate the issue of possession of drugs for personal use, i.e. there is no single position on this issue and it is the courts themselves who assess what constitutes a small or a large quantity of drugs,” she explained.

(Danas, 07.10.2021)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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