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June 26, 2022

Number of drug users infected with HIV went up 40 times

Bucharest Mayor says he knows about drugs being dealt right on the footwalk at Obregia Hospital.

The first national conference on the theme ‘Addiction – multidisciplinary approach, medical, psychological and social ramifications’ was organised by the ‘Sfantul Stelian’ Centre for Evaluation and Treatment of Substance Addictions for Youth in partnership with the Bucharest Municipality, Health Ministry and National Anti-Drug Agency on Friday. Theme associated with the substance addiction and the situation of drug addicts in Romania were addressed during the conference. The number of injectable drug users who are infected with HIV has grown by 40 times in the last three years, said the manager of the ‘Sfantul Stelian’ Centre for Evaluation and Treatment of Substance Addictions for Youth in Bucharest, Cristina Hudita. ‘It’s an absolutely alarming situation. If in 2009-2010 our centre was admitting one to two people every year, 22 cases of HIV infection were admitted in 2011 and 48 addicts infected with HIV in 2012 until September. With the note that these are new cases’, she said. Cristina Hudita also said that the number of admissions of heroine addictions decreased after the appearance of ethnobotanic substances, but, at the same time, the number of severe psychical disorders caused by the use of ethnobotanic substance increased.   Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu said he was aware of the places where drugs were deal in the Capital. He said at the conference that addition to drugs and ethnobotanic substances was growing and that the dealers were becoming more numerous as well. Oprescu said ‘there are people who walk into hospitals to sell their substances and that, at the Obregia Hospital, there is even a special place for dealing drugs, right on the footwalk’. The mayor added that, together with the relevant authorities, he tried to set up a strategy for very clear action. ‘We can only control the phenomenon through a firm cooperation with the NGOs and authorities, because ethnobotanic or drug dealers will migrate between districts and cities whenever we get tough on them in one place,’ Oprescu also said. On the other hand, Alexandru Obregia Hospital spokeswoman Rodica Nastase said, after the conference, that the unit has wards for the treatment of drug addicts who are accompanied by families and therefore anyone of those people may be a dealer and trick the vigilance of security guards. At the same time, State Secretary Raed Arafat said at the conference that, although the authorities do close down ethnobotanic shops, new ones appear all the time. The official admitted to the fact that, the tougher the measures against the phenomenon are, the more dealers try to find alternative ways to grow their business. Drug addition with the trend of progressive dose increase is a major issue for any country, especially because it attacks young people, Raed Arafat also noted.

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