Designer drugs among Polish youths' favoured stimulants
PR dla Zagranicy
The legal psychoactive substances are a preferred choice for most young Poles, after alcohol, cannabis, and hard drugs ecstasy and amphetamines, shows a study run as part of the Internet Tools for Research in Europe on New Drugs project (I-TREND).
Photo: Jakub Walasek/REPORTER
As the lead investigator of the research Professor Piotr Sałustowicz, from the Warsaw University of Social Sciences and Humanities points out, designer drugs may soon be gaining in popularity owing to their legality, relatively easy production, and growing access online.
For years, lawmakers have been banning particular strains of synthetic chemicals used in designer drugs, a move which prompted dealers to replace the illegal substances with new substitutes to maintain business.
The average initiation age is 17. As the study reveals, designer drug users are typically city dwellers, either pursuing high-school or higher education or who have just began their professional careers. Nearly all of the consumers would have used alcohol, tobacco or narcotics in the past.
Most respondents covered by the study viewed designer drugs as marketing products - nearly a half of them were unable to indicate the substance they had last taken.
"Most customers bought products sold under some fancy name or marketed as substances unfit for consumption, such as bath salts, incense or collector's items," Piotr Sałustowicz says.
In July, hundreds of youngsters were hospitalised across Poland, treated for the effects of designer drugs. (aba/rk)