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Florence, Italy: Alarming Drug Statistics

In general, the data regarding the drugs and addiction phenomenon in Florence reflect the same sad scenario of any other major Italian city. But what is striking among all the news related to the subject, is what was also recently reported in an article of La Nazione, the main newspaper of Florence. The focus is in fact on a particular and troubling aspect within the phenomenon of drugs itself, namely the use of cocaine, which is in constant growth throughout the city. Already in recent years the amount of cocaine found in the waste water system of Florence came to surpass the levels of those of the River Thames itself, in London, a far larger and more "active" city in this respect; furthermore, in 2009 the latest official data on the use of cocaine reported a growth three times higher than in 1998. These data, however, do not depict the complete scenario of cocaine use in Florence. Statistics of this type are always processed based on surveys on sample groups, consisting mainly of people who turn to the public services for the treatment of drug addiction. Because of this, the large number of people abusing drugs and alcohol without any official record or tally, as those people who still use drugs "only" occasionally, on the weekend, or who drink too much but don't consider themselves to be "an alcoholic".

And the problem grows with the lowering age of youth and children who use drugs for the first time. If the first smoke of a joint occurs at 15 years of age, it is easy to guess how soon after that some will even get into heavier drugs, like ecstasy or cocaine, helped by affordable prices - one dose ranges between 20 and 40 euro - and accessibility. Florentine discos and pubs are literally invaded by the drugs, and frequented mostly by young people. The market for cocaine, ecstasy and other commonly considered "heavy" drugs in Florence is dominated by the Albanian criminality, hashish and marijuana instead mostly comes from North Africa.

What Can the Narconon Program do for Florence?

A widespread education plan about the real effects and consequences of drugs is not only necessary but vital before we can talk of effective drug prevention. The still widespread misinformation of young people - but not only them - especially in regard to drugs such as cocaine and other synthetic drugs, erroneously considered "safer", gives a clear understanding on the fact that the drug prevention methods used so far have not been as successful as expected, and that a mere tactic of "fearful" anti-drug messages does not create the necessary effects. The Narconon drug education and prevention program brings interactive presentations in schools and wherever there is need for them, with testimonials and real stories, to which young people can relate finding credible answers. The after-program surveys of the participants show a marked shift in viewpoint and perception of the risks associated with drug use. The Narconon program is also involved in drug recovery and rehabilitation, with far greater results obtained by its methods than any other program. For information and contacts, please write to info@narconon.org or see Narconon centers around the world to find the Narconon center closest to you.




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