News Local Cannabis, cocaine use in Cyprus on the rise over recent past years

Cannabis, cocaine use in Cyprus on the rise over recent past years

An increase in cannabis and cocaine use in Cyprus is on the rise over the recent past years, according to the European Drug Report 2020 presented on Tuesday by the Cyprus National Addictions Authority (NAAC).

At the same time, a slight decrease in heroin users and an increase in young people using cocaine is recorded. Along with a decrease in drug-related deaths – from 12 in 2018 to five in 2019.

According to the report, cocaine is the most popular stimulant in the general population.

There is also an increase of two percentage points from the previous research in those who stated that they had smoked cannabis – even just once.

Specifically, from 12.1% in 2016, this percentage increased to 14.1%.

Additionally, percentages for ongoing drug use in the current year increased from 1.2% to 2.2%, whilst those for recent drug use went up to 4% in 2019 from 2.2% in 2016.

The use of illegal substances in the general population based on the report is currently presented as follows: Cannabis 8.1%, Cocaine 0.9%, MDMA (ecstasy) 0.4% and amphetamines 0.2%.

Regarding the use of cocaine per 1000 inhabitants, research shows that in Limassol it stands at 272 people and in Nicosia at 224.

Additionally, there is an increase in cocaine use in young people aged 15-34 increasing from 0.4% in 2016 to 0.9% in 2019.

An increase in cocaine-related offences has also been observed in recent years.

As far as rehabilitation goes, the number in those seeking treatment for cocaine abuse has seen a steady increase in recent years.

Nine out of ten users in treatment are men with an average age of first use of 22 years and an average age of first contact with rehab of 30 years.

Additionally, in 2019, opiates were the third most used substance after cannabis and cocaine and for which users went into rehabilitation.

In the last year, those seeking to enter rehab for treatment for substance abuse other than heroin and in particular oxycodone, have declined.

Around eight out of ten users in treatment are men with an average age of first use of 24 years and an average age of first contact with rehab of 29 years.

In 2019, about half of those seeking to enter rehab stated cannabis as their main substance of abuse.

Regarding cannabis use, data from the general population survey of 2019, indicate that cannabis remains the most popular substance of abuse with the highest prevalence. The predominant age of first use of cannabis is 19.

In Cyprus, though the numbers of those in rehabilitation for use of methamphetamine treatment remain low when compared to other substances, in recent years there has been an increase in the number of people seeking treatment for it.

Chrysanthos Georgiou, director of the NAAC, said he recently promoted the idea of a new unified Strategy, which will include tackling addiction to legal and illegal substances, among other issues, and will cover the period of 2021-2028.

After the final commitment of all involved parties is received, the Strategy will be submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval.

The aim is for it to be an anthropocentric, holistic, balanced and scientifically substantiated Strategy for dealing with the phenomenon, he also said.

Top Stories

Man catches arsonist dousing his car

  A man in Yeroskipou caught a man red handed dousing his car with liquid, which he subsequently discovered was flammable material. The incident happened...

Man bites hand of police officer checking SMS movement

  A man bit a police officer's hand as he was randomly checked for using an SMS for movement during the second week of the...

Covid assessment leads to change in country travel categories as of Jan.18

  The Epidemiological Monitoring Unit has reassessed the epidemiological conditions in certain countries as related to the travelling to and from Cyprus. The reassessment was based...

Dozens fined for covid violations as quarantine enters second week

  79 individuals and six businesses were charged for covid-19 violations over the past 24 hours, as the quarantine entered its 2nd week, with authorities...

17 year old Covid patient at Famagusta General

  A 17 year old teenage girl, the youngest to have been infected in the second wave of the pandemic, is being treated at Famagusta...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...