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25th July 2017

Teenagers sell drugs on social networking sites

A report of the third BBC channel revealed that children at the age of 15 claim to earn up to £ 300 a day through the use of social networking sites to sell drugs based on emoji symbols.

The Third Channel program looked at activity of those gangs on Snapchat and Instagram, as well as the dating app Yellow.

Above sites mentioned that users must report any illegal content they encounter.

But 72 hours after reporting users who sell drugs, their accounts were still active on the Internet.

Tai (not his real name), which the show contacted via "Snapchat", said that financial gains are addictive. He added that he earns 300 pounds a day through his activity on the Net.

The documentary found that dealers who were using emojis to disguise the true nature of the conversations with their customers.

Meanwhile, one of the largest drug gangs claims that three-quarters of their takings comes from selling through young people on social media apps.

In the documentary, the drug bosses show presenter Stacey Dooley a shipment of liquid cocaine from South America hidden in olive oil bottles and reveal how one gang member can make £26,000 in just two days.

Snapchat says in a statement: "We encourage all Snapchatters to report anything to us that doesn't belong on Snapchat, including by using our new in-app reporting tools."

Instagram says it encourages anyone who comes across content similar to that appearing in the film to report it via the in-built reporting tools.

The presenter of the show said she "fear is it is going to take something very tragic to happen to these kids before Yellow, Instagram and Snapchat wake up and take action”.

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24th July 2017

Greece legalizes the use of medical marijuana

Greece has become the last European country to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Doctors can now prescribe this plant for their patients.

According to the British newspaper "The Independent", Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said last week that doctors will soon be able to prescribe this narcotic substance under medical conditions and a legal order.

Cannabis is usually prescribed for medical conditions such as muscle spasms, chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, epilepsy and cancer.

The Greek government's official newspaper reported that the Prime Minister said at a press conference: "After the Czech Republic, Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, Greece is now the sixth country Of the European Union to take this measure and legalize this drug for medical purposes ".

“The Independent” mentioned that the new law will help stimulate the economy as it allows the establishment of a legal drug industry. Greece will also be able to import cannabis-based medicines.

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23rd July 2017

Effective measures to treat drug addiction at home

Physicians and specialists in the treatment of addiction and alcoholism prefer that treatment occurs in specialized health centers, but some people prefer to receive addiction treatment at home for personal reasons. Experts point out that the treatment of addiction varies from one individual to another depending on several factors including the period of addiction, health and psychological status and the person's determination to receive treatment .

The treatment period needed by the patient varies according to these factors; It may be limited to three months in the case of recent addiction, or may require a year or more in the event of severe addiction and lack of psychological and physical preparation for treatment.

Before starting addiction treatment at home, the patient must experience a serious and honest desire to heal and no longer consume  drugs again. This is considered to be one of the most important steps experienced by the addict as it requires a lot of will and determination, as well as social and emotional support from his family and close friends. Before starting treatment, it is important that the addict take some measures, the most important being to stay away from other drug and alcohol users, get an official leave from work or educational institution to which he belongs and consult an addiction treatment specialist who will oversee the steps of drug treatment at home.

These early stages of addiction treatment begin with counseling and warnings, "during this period the addict feels lost and must be surrounded by friends and family members to advise and warn him about the danger of addiction ". Then comes the pre-decision phase where the addict is aware of the gravity of his situation but is unable to find a way that allows him to get out of this maze. Finally, it is the stage of the effective decision, that is, the period when the addict makes a crucial decision regarding the treatment of his addiction and consults a medical specialist to obtain the necessary advice.

The actual stages of addiction treatment occur in the weaning phase; During this period that often lasts  two weeks drugs are removed from the addict's body. The patient needs to take some medications that reduce the pain associated with this stage and it is important not to resume drug use during this phase and subsequent treatment stages. The second phase involves behavioral therapy where the patient must acquire new skills and behaviors that prevent him from relapsing. Then comes psychological consultations; The patient needs individual or collective psychotherapy sessions that give him the opportunity to express his feelings and fears. It is important for the patient to continue receiving a psychological support, even after being treated of his addiction. Finally, there is stage of support through medications, during which the patient can have access to certain medications, obtained under the supervision of a specialized doctor, that help him stay away from addiction. The patient must abide by the prescribed doses.

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22nd July 2017

Egypt: 36% of the drug addiction treatment hotline callers are under the age of 18

The Minister of Social Solidarity and Chairman of the Drug Control and Treatment Fund Directorate, Ghada Wali, said that the percentage of children under the age of 18 who call the drugs control and treatment hotline reached 36% out of the total number of callers in the first six months of this year.

Wali added, during the announcement of the national survey results related to smoking, drug addiction and alcoholism among high school students with the participation of Dr. Tarek Shawki, Minister of Education and Leadership, in addition to officials from a number of ministries and NGOs, that the number of phone calls received by the hotline "16023" for addiction treatment and advice reached 37322 calls in the first six months of this year, i.e more than double the number of incoming calls from the same period last year.

The Minister also stated that there is an urgent need for the development of an early detection drug use system among students, stressing the importance of building the capacity of medical personnel in educational establishments and early detection mechanisms. According to the Minister, this procedure must be carried out within an educational and non-punitive framework, with the participation of the Board of Trustees, while continuing to carry out campaigns to detect drugs use by school buses drivers.

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20th July 2017

Do you know the first state to legalize the sale of marijuana in pharmacies?

On Friday, authorities in the Montevideo capital announced that Uruguay will start as of this week to sell marijuana for recreational purposes in pharmacies across the country.

Uruguay will thus become the first country in the world to fully legalize the production, sale and consumption of marijuana.

As of next Wednesday, registered users will be able to choose between two types of drugs and buy 10 grams per week from a limited number of pharmacies.

According to the National Institute of Cannabis Control, 4711 people have already registered to buy marijuana at $ 1.3 per gram - less than what they paid before for an illegal trafficker.

This procedure is the final step in the process of legalizing the use of marijuana in Uruguay, a process that began in 2013 under the presidency of Jose Mujica.

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19th July 2017

New UNODC report: Coca crops in Colombia increase over 50 per cent in one year

Bogota, The latest Colombia Cultivation Survey , produced by the Integrated System for Monitoring Illicit Crops (SIMCI) Project of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), was released, showing an increase of 52 per cent in coca cultivation area - from 96,000 hectares (ha) in 2015 to 146,000 ha in 2016.

According to the same report, the highest growth was seen in Colombian departments located in borders, particularly Nariño, Putumayo and Norte de Santander, the same territories with the biggest coca crop area according to the 2015 survey.

Regarding the potential production of cocaine for 2016, the estimate was of 866 metric tons, an increase of 34 per cent compared to 2015, which saw 646 metric tons.

This year report also records that prices of coca leaf in 2016 were 43 per cent higher than prices in 2013, when coca cultivation began to increase. 

While the latest survey results are disappointing, there are positives, including an increase of 49 per cent in seizures of cocaine - from 253 tons confiscated in 2015 to 378 tons in 2016.

The conditions in the country are favorable to reaching a sustainable solution since the country's strategy is moving from a crop-based intervention to one focusing on the transformation of the territories. 

The Government of Colombia and local communities are building trust to reach effective and sustainable solutions. This will require coordinated, localized and comprehensive actions that address illicit economies and organized crime, allow communities to make decisions without the pressure of illegal armed groups, and promote legal alternatives to guarantee the development of territories.

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