November 02, 2005
Pharmaceutical News (II): Local Youth Zonked on "Legit" Drugs
In a stunning research finding that has left even unflappable us staggered, a survey conducted in Kaposvár and published on Weborvos suggests that only 3% of Hungarian teens don't take any legal drugs, and a large number appear to be blotto on prescription downers. According to the study, 9% percent of local eighth graders, 7% of regular high school kids (gimnazisták) and 20% of vocational school students (szakiskolások) take sleeping pills or sedatives. And the numbers, as you might expect, are even higher in high-stress Budapest.
In Kaposvár, 12% of students - most of them girls - said that they had tried sleeping pills or sedatives, with 6% of 7th graders (13-year-olds) admitting to having taken the occasional little something. Nine percent of students said that they had taken steroids, probably for sports. József Rácz, head of Blue Point Drug Consultation Center (Kék Pont Drogkonzultációs Központ) told Magyar Hírlap that the situation is even worse in Budapest, where 5th and 6th graders are already into pills.
Echo Survey Sociological Research Institue, which carried out the survey, explains the results with the fact that even elementary school students chose shopping malls and pubs as their hangouts. For his part, Rácz said he believes the problem is that adults don't think "legal" drugs are dangerous. "Most kids follow the example shown by their parents. Sometimes it's the parents who suggest the drugs as a solution to their problems," he said.