Survey: Serbians "prefer" sedatives to narcotics

8 percent of Serbian aged 18-64 have used narcotics at least once in their life, while 22.4 percent used hypnotic and sedative medications in the past year.

Source: Tanjug
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This was revealed in the latest national lifestyle survey conducted by the Dr. Milan Jovanović Batut Institute for Public Health.

The survey showed that psychoactive substances are more frequently used by men (10.8 percent) than women (5.2 percent), and that the percentage is much higher among the younger generation - 12.8 percent of survey participants aged between 18 and 34 used drugs.

Cannabis is the most frequent drug, used over the past year by 1.6 percent of the population aged between 18 and 64, and by 3.4 percent of the population aged between 18 and 34.

A total of 22.4 percent of survey participants used sedatives and hypnotics over the past year - 13.9 percent of men and 30.9 percent of women - with elderly persons as the more frequent users of these drugs, says Biljana Kilibarda, the head of the Institute's department for monitoring and preventing the abuse of psychoactive substances.

The head of the Czech government's drug monitoring office, Viktor Mravčik, who was involved in the survey, says that a quarter of Serbia's population used sedatives over the past year.

Around 100,000 people use sedatives on a daily basis, which is a bigger problem than drug use, Mravčik said.

The survey also indicates that 72.2 percent of adult participants consumed alcohol over the past year, with the number of men prevailing highly over the number of women.

However, "modern society changes traditional models" related to alcohol abuse, so younger urban women now drink much more than older ones, and those in rural areas, the results suggested.

One in three Serbian citizens smoke, with 40.9 percent of men and 32 percent of women smoking every day, the survey further showed.

This was the first national lifestyle survey conducted in Serbia according to the methodology of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) as part of an IPA project.

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