Number of drug users decreases in Italy

In Italy, the latest Annual Report on drug use and addiction, regarding the results of the last semester of 2013 and the first semester of 2014, has been presented to the Parliament.

The general analysis on the tendency of drug users in the last 12 months, with reference to national population (15-64 years), confirmed the trend of a decreasing number of users, observed from 2010, for all of the drugs considered.   

The increasing interest of the specialists in the “new synthetic drugs” phenomenon is noteworthy. It concerns strong chemical molecules synthesized ex-novo in laboratories and sold under false pretences. Between 2009 and 2015 the Alert System has identified more than 370 new molecules, thanks to 171 collaborative centres and 66 laboratories of the Scientific Investigation Department (RIS) and Drug Analysis Labs (LASS) of the Police. There is a consistent effort in improving the early alert system and in monitoring the web in order to prevent the online offer of synthetic drugs, in addition to the constant update of the illegal drugs list. 

Regarding the reintegration area, the report underlines a big presence of social and working reintegration programmes for drug users. The total investment, engaged by the regions, through 2013, and allocated to these programmes, was about 6.2 million Euros, over 1 million less than recorded in 2012.   

In 2013, working reintegration and completion of education were the priority objectives in most of the regions. Online research shows that such programmes are mostly developed with the collaboration of private and public services. However, there are not many well-developed channels of communication to inform the general public about such initiatives. Thus, the promotion and, subsequently, the participation of potential interested individuals in these programmes is inadequate.