Drug-related Deaths in Rome
In recent years, Rome has made progress in reducing the number of addicted people and the number of drug-related deaths. But the streets of the ancient city are still awash in drugs—whether they are to be transported to other cities or consumed in Rome itself.
According to the annual report of the Italian State Police anti-drug services, in 2012 the drug deaths in Italy were 390, a decline from previous years. By far, the largest number were male and the average age was 37 years. Opioids were the primary drugs taking these lives.
In Rome, more than 1,300 kg of heroin was seized in 2014, along with 19,162 kg of cocaine. A truly massive amount of hashish was seized—more than half a million kg, plus 112,196 kg of marijuana.
The drop in the age of drug users is another factor that affects the Roman population. Typically, the first contact with drugs is between 14 and 18 years old, usually at school. The most common drugs sending people to rehab in Rome are heroin, cocaine, alcohol and cannabis products. New psychoactive substances like club drugs are increasingly seen in urban centers such as Rome.
Improvement in Understanding of the Harm from Drugs
More young people realize the danger of using these addictive substances. 2010 surveys showed that the majority of young people 14 to 18 years old realized the damage that can result from using heroin, cocaine or psychedelics. This was an improvement over surveys done just a few years earlier.
These young people also thought it would be easy to obtain marijuana, hashish, ecstasy or cocaine. Twenty-seven of these youth said they were using marijuana, but only 15% used hashish and 4% used a stimulant like Ecstasy or cocaine.
Need for better services to fight drugs and addiction
Rome needs additional and more effective services both for drug addiction treatment and for alcohol and drug abuse prevention. The Narconon drug rehabilitation program is a response to the drug problem in the capital. With several centers in Italy and not far from Rome is Narconon Argo. In this comfortable Italian villa, it’s possible to leave the turbulent life of an addicted person far behind while learning the skills needed to create a new future.