Stimulant use in Central and Eastern Europe: How Recent Social History Shaped Current Drug Consumption Patterns

Current patterns of production and consumption of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) are best understood in historical context. ATS drug use, control and treatment in the region can be largely comprehended as artifacts of the social and political economies and ideologies of the former Soviet Union and its satellite countries. In this chapter we draw upon our own studies and the available data regarding ATS use from several countries in the CEE region. We review the continuity and distinctions in the social structure of ATS use that continues to be predominated by localized homemade production and small group consumption patterns that were a product of the austere and controlled conditions of Communism. We then describe the health consequences for current users of ATS as being shaped by diverging paths from a legacy of punitive prohibition and drug treatment aimed at controlling individuals’ threat to the collective interests of the state as suggested by the totalitarian regime. As the CEE geo-political landscape grows ever more complex, multiple forms of reliable data are crucial to ensure state responses to ATS use that reflect fidelity to sound public health policy and programming, as well as evidence-based treatment.

Category: Preventie en harm reduction
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