| Reading time: 3 minutes
According to drug reports, alcohol and tobacco consumption by young people is declining
DNew Federal Drug Commissioner Daniel Ludwig (CSU) has sharply rejected self-regulation for heavy drugs such as cocaine or heroin, which has been discussed in the metropolitan state of Berlin. Such demands are "simply nonsense," Ludwig said Tuesday in Berlin at presenting drug and addiction reports in 2019. Such regulation of personal need suggests harmlessness – but this is not the case with drugs such as heroin, where even a single lethal dose could be.
Ludwig said substitution for them – i.e., delivery of methadone to addicts – is the solution. However, they will need to get more doctors for a nationwide replacement. According to a drug report, the number of drug deaths in 2018 with a total of 1,276 deaths remained approximately constant, in 2017, 1272 died after drug use.
Ludwig, meanwhile, was pleased with the drop in alcohol and tobacco consumption among young people. The fact that the number of adolescents consuming regular alcohol has fallen to a historically low level and that the number of young smokers has fallen by two-thirds within 10 to 15 years is also a success of the preventive measures, the drug commissioner said.
A CSU politician who has been in power since September has reiterated her request to ban outdoor advertising for tobacco and e-cigarettes. That could still be advertised in Germany as tobacco, "not a great site," Ludwig said. Conventional cigarettes should no longer be marketed, as should e-cigarettes.
Particularly among young people, it should be noted that e-cigarettes are doing well there. This is a product that is a product, but the potential health hazards would be hidden. "E-cigarette is not a wellness product," Ludwig said.
On the subject of cannabis, Ludwig reiterated her announcement that she wanted to hold discussions with both cannabis opponents and advocates for legalization. In Germany, there is a "social divide" in this topic. She wanted to talk without a screen. "Open dialogue is my goal."
Above all, however, it must be the subject of youth health care. This includes better prevention. It is felt that previous preventive measures have not reached the target group of adolescents.
Green Drug Policy spokeswoman Kirsten Kappert-Gonther welcomed the open dialogue sought by Ludwig. "The criminalization of consumers harms those who are affected and burdens the judiciary," Kappert-Gonther explained. In order to strengthen health and youth protection, there must be controlled release of cannabis.
A spokeswoman for the drug policy at the Bundestag, Niema Movassat, said drug bans were legal as well as legal or illegal classifications of any scientific knowledge. "This absurd drug policy must finally be stopped," Movassat said.
The bans did not contain drugs and their consumption, but did increase the health risk of diluents and overdoses. The division of adults and the criminalization of drug and drug users "are backward, discriminatory and not constitutional."