The main aspects of the new strategy will be presented at a round table on addiction-related policies in Zagreb on Monday.
“The price of drug addiction, which is paid by the citizens of Croatia and other EU countries, is very high, given addiction-related allocations for public health,” Beroš said on the occasion of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, observed on 26 June.
Drug addiction is one of the longest-standing threats to our society, directly and indirectly affecting the lives of millions of people, and the struggle against addiction requires a multidisciplinary and integrated approach at the national, local, and international levels, he said.
Within 30 days of the adoption of the strategy by parliament, the government will adopt an action plan for 2022-2026 specifying steps in the implementation of the defined measures, the Health Ministry said in a press release.
The European survey on smoking, drinking and drug use among students, cited in the press release, shows that Croatia is above the European average regarding the use of illegal substances among young people.
“Specifically, 21 percent of students said they have tried drugs at least once in their lives, mostly cannabis. As for the use of new psychoactive substances, Croatia is also above the European average, with 5.1 percent against 3.4 percent in the EU,” the press release said.
Particularly alarming is the finding that 17 percent of 15-year-olds have tried marijuana at least once in their lives.
The negative trends in drug use and a dynamic market that produces new psychoactive substances at a great speed multiply health risks to citizens, which adversely affects the clinical picture of the nation, Beroš said.
He said that the National Strategy is consistent with the National Health Development Plan 2021-2027 and the reform measures promoting prevention and healthy lifestyle habits.
For more, check out our politics section.