Young Europeans less informed about `legal highs`: Survey

IANS| Last Updated: Aug 22, 2014, 08:38 AM IST
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Brussels: Young Europeans are less informed about "legal highs" and the effects of drugs compared to a few years ago, a survey said.

More than a quarter of youngsters (29 percent) said they have not been informed in the past year about the effects and risks of "legal highs", legal substances imitating the effects of illegal drugs, Xinhua quoted the Eurobarometer survey as saying.

The finding comes at a time when the number of young people claiming to have used "legal highs" has risen to eight percent from five percent in 2011.

More than 13,000 European citizens aged 15 to 24 were interviewed for the survey across the EU.

The European Commission has pledged to increase knowledge and spread information on the risks of legal highs.

The bloc has funded a number of projects aimed at boosting detection and identification of new psychoactive substances and the risks associated with them.

Drug use and drug-related problems continue to be a major concern for EU citizens. They are also a significant public health and public safety issue.

According to studies by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, drug experimentation often starts in the school years.

It is estimated that one in four 15 to 16-year-olds in the EU have used an illicit drug.