2008-10-29 Presentation of a survey among the students from VII to XII class in the city of Sofia - 2008
In the period from May through June 2008 a sociological survey was carried out about the attitudes to and the use of psychoactive drugs among the students from VII to XII class in the capital. It was organized by MBMD Consulting and commissioned by the Metropolitan Municipality and the Regional Council for Drugs with the methodological support of the National Focal Point for Drugs and Drug Addictions and the organizational support of the Prevention and Information Center for the problems of drug addicts – Sofia.
Around 2/3 of the students in Sofia (64.7 %) have smoked cigarettes at least once in their lifetime, which is 10 points less than what was registered in 2000, 2004 and 2006; nearly half of the students (45.2 %) have smoked during the last 30 days, which is lower than the levels for 2000 and 2006 but higher than that for 2004 .
Every third of the students (33.8 %) smokes at the time of the survey (at least one cigarette a day), which is nearly at the level of the preceding years (34-36 %), but it could be the beginning of a tendency of reduction; nearly half of them (16.2 %, or every sixth student) smoke an average of more than 10 cigarettes a day, which is a lower level than for the years 2000, 2004 and 2006.
Approximately every fifth (20.9 %) of the students surveyed has smoked cigarettes for the first time at the age of up to 12 years including, which is nearly the same level as with the previous surveys (20-22 %).
Every sixth (17.6 %) of the students drinks alcohol on a daily basis or at least every other day, which is nearly the same as in 2006(20.0 %) and definitely more than in 2000 and 2004 (10-11 %).
The number of the students who have drunk usually 5 or more standard drinks over the last 30 days in the days when they have drunk alcohol continues to grow. In comparison to 2000 this percentage has risen from 2.8 to 8.3 %. This means that the drinking spree among the students is growing, which was registered by the international survey ESPAD as well. In the Bulgarian part it is representative for the students from the whole of the country.
Approximately every fifth student (20.7 %) regularly gets drunk according to his/her confessions, and a tendency is seen of a gradual increase of this number (19.2% in 2004 and 16.7 % in 2006 г.); nearly ¾ (72.8 %) have got drunk at least once in their lifetime, which is approximately the level from the last surveys in 2004 and 2006 (72-78 %).
A little more than ¼ of the students surveyed (28.4 %) drank their first independent drink at the age under 12 years which forms a tendency of reducing this number ( 40.6 % in 2004 and 33.9 % in 2006).
A little more than 1/3 of the students surveyed (35.4 %) have used some illicit drug at least once in their lifetime, which is less than for 2004 (37.3 %) and a little more than for 2006 (33.5 %) – the data from the last two surveys as if form a tendency of reducing or at least of stabilizing the number of the students experimenting with drugs.
Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug (31.4 %), followed by the group of the stimulants– amphetamines (10.9 %), ecstasy (9.7 %), cocaine (8.3 %), hallucinogenic mushrooms (6.9 %), etc.
Practically for all the illicit drugs there is a tendency of increased use over the last four years (with certain fluctuations for cannabis and the other opiates except for heroine).