Drug use on the rise in Armenia
The number of drug addicts in Armenia is increasing. Though the number has increased by around eight to nine per cent, Armenia is still the last in the number of drug addicts in the region.
Iran leads with 3.5 million addicts, and in neighboring Georgia 400 000 people use drugs. The Chief Narcologist of Armenia, Petros Semerjyan, notes that the official data on the number of drug addicts in Armenia differs from reality:
“There are 6 544 registered drug addicts in Armenia. This is the official number of people who have been diagnosed with addiction. However, according to various studies and unofficial data, there are 30 000 addicts in Armenia, 13 000 of whom take drugs intravenously.”
A significant number of drug addicts in Armenia are men aged between 30 and 50 years old. Among the registered drug addicts are seven minors. Semerjyan notes that people generally start taking drugs at a young age, but they seek help much later when health problems arise.
In Armenia, cannabis and opium-based drugs are most common.
The term of treatment for people who turn to rehabilitation centers is 10-40 days, depending on the patient’s state of health. Semerjyan further noted that treatment does not mean that the patient will not relapse:
“Some addicts reach a certain stage and decide to quit but are unable to do so because they have already reached the stage of serious dependence. Treatment is necessary so that a person can overcome this stage. They might relapse after treatment. This often happens as a result of environmental influences. It is no coincidence that it is recommended to go somewhere for 6 months and up to a year after treatment.”