Thousands of drug users left without help in Hungary, says toxicologist
Budapest, November 6 (MTI) – Hungary has 6,000-7,000 intravenous drug users whom neither the health-care system nor the police nor the social welfare system can do anything about, toxicologist Gabor Zacher told the Friday issue of daily Magyar Idok.
Zacher’s comments come after a man who was high on drugs and in need of immediate help in Budapest on Tuesday stabbed a paramedic who was trying to help him. The stabbing occurred in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, leaving the paramedic in critical condition.
On average, drug abuse in Hungary claims 31 lives a year, Zacher told the paper. Drug use occurs about 45 million times a year in Hungary, Zacher said, adding that about half of the country’s 20,000 drug users use marihuana. The toxicologist said the 6,000-7,000 intravenous drug users, who he said cannot be helped, were the bigger problem because they are the ones who have a tendency to engage in violent behavior.
Some 200,000 people in Hungary smoke marihuana on the weekends, Zacher said, adding that under Hungarian drug laws, this means that 200,000 people could theoretically be sentenced to 2 years in prison. If this many people were arrested on “a fun Saturday night,” the prison system would collapse, Zacher said.
The toxicologist said that children growing up in families in which at least one person is an alcoholic, are seven times more likely to develop alcohol problems themselves. He said substance abuse problems are often rooted in family background. If children are raised according to the right set of values, they will not have to be reminded not to do drugs before going to a party, as based on their upbringing, they will automatically say no to drugs.