When Teens Lie About Drugs: Guide Issued for Bulgarian Parents
Bulgaria's Interior has issued a teen drug use guide for parents, aiming to reduce the time between the first hunch that something is wrong and the child getting treatment.
Adolescence can lead to sudden changes in a child's moods and behaviors, making it hard for parents to spot the signs of drug use.
But psychologists say the parent should take action if observing a few particular signs, including unusual mood changes or temper outbursts, marked changes in eating or sleeping habits, decline in academic performance, significant change in personal appearance or hygiene, loss of interest in usual activities and hobbies, difficulty with concentration.
Kids in Bulgaria are starting to take drugs at an increasingly lower age and are resorting to new types of narcotics, according to experts.
According to statistics from the National Center for Drugs, the drug usage among young people, especially students, has increased. People between 15 and 34 years represent about 70-85% of all the people in Bulgaria who use drugs.
Every third high school student and 35.2% of the students overall have tried drugs at least once. Bulgarian experts on drugs said they expect a raise in the usage of amphetamines in the next few years.
More than 300 000 people in Bulgaria suffer from drug addiction, with about 30 000 heroin addicts.
Between 430 000 and 475 000 Bulgarians in the age group of 15-64 have trial drugs at least once in their lives.
The most popular drug in the country is marijuana, followed by synthetic drugs like amphetamines and ecstasy-like drugs.