Last year there were 8,951 drug seizures in Croatia and a stable trend of addicts in treatment, 80% of whom were opiate addicts, the Croatian public health care system HZJZ said on Monday, marking the International Day against Drug Abuse.
“The number of new opiate addicts in treatment keeps declining and cannabis prevails among non-opiate addicts,” state agency Hina cited HZJZ assistant director, Zeljko Petkovic, as saying. In 2021, 84 percent of those in treatment for psychoactive drug abuse were men, while the rest were women, he added.
The average age of persons treated for drug abuse is 40.4 years, experimenting with drugs begins at 17.2 years on average, and the average age of persons seeking treatment for the first time is 28.5 years.The HZJZ estimates there are between 7,200 and 11,547 high-risk opiate addicts in Croatia.
“Last year saw an increase in seizures of cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines,” state agency Hina said, without clarifying.
An analysis of traces of narcotics in sewage in 75 cities across the EU showed that over the last decade Zagreb has been recording an increase in cocaine use. The highest cannabis metabolites have been discovered in Croatian, Spanish, Dutch and Slovenian cities.
Maja Valentic of the HZJZ said 5,378 persons in Croatia were being treated for drug abuse in 2020, including 518 for the first time. Of all those in treatment, 83% were addicted primarily to opiates, 10% to cannabis and 2.6% to cocaine and other stimulants, she added. Istria and Zadar counties had the highest number of persons in treatment last year, 561 and 546, respectively. The number of new heroin addicts in treatment keeps falling.
The HZJZ said the pandemic incited the digitization of the drug market. Drazen Rastovic of the police office for the suppression of corruption and organised crime said there was no drug addiction epidemic in Croatia, although the number of consumers seems to be increasing. “There are no open drug scenes nor major drug production, apart from marijuana growing,” he added.