Florence, Italy: Alarming Drug Statistics

Florence Italy at night

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 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 wastewater 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. A 2013 report confirmed the continued abuse of cocaine in Florence, with analysis of wastewater traces showing that this city has the highest level of cocaine use in the whole country.

While Florence has significant drug seizures, the greatest number of seizures in the region occur in Pisa, a coastal city. In 2014, 775 kg of cocaine was seized along with a staggering 42,161 kg of hashish.

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”.

Narconon Argo outside of Rome
Narconon Argo Drug Rehabilitation Center near Rome

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 heavily addictive drugs in Florence has long been dominated by the Albanian criminal groups, while hashish and marijuana mostly come from North Africa.

Ref: Cocaine and heroin in waste water plants: A 1-year study in the city of Florence, Italy

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 about 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 a 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 has also been providing drug recovery and rehabilitation in Italy for over three decades. Contact us to learn more about the Narconon centers throughout Italy. 

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