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12% of population has tried cannabis

Cannabis remains the most widespread illegal drug, with 12% of the population having tried it at least once in their lifetime, according to the annual report of the National Addictions Authority of Cyprus (NAAC) that was submitted to President Nicos Anastasiades on Monday.

It said the trend to try cannabis was the highest in the 18 to 22 age group. Cannabis use is most widespread among young people  aged 15 to 34.

Though cocaine use is low, it is the most popular  stimulant — 1.4% of the general population aged 15 to 64 said they have used it at least once.

With the exception of tranquillisers, drug use is more widespread among men.

Compared to other surveys of previous years, there is a small increase in the use of cannabis, but Cyprus still has one of the best indices in the EU and the situation is described as stable.

However there is concern about cocaine use in Europe, as well the increase in the strength of cannabis now available, factors which are expected to affect Cyprus.

NAAC chairman Chrysanthos Georgiou said that the situation cannot be considered tragic, but noted that last year had seen six drug deaths.

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