Drug Use on the Rise in Armenia

Drug use on the rise in Armenia

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—At a news conference on Tuesday, the chief state narcologist of Armenia, Petros Semerjian said that the number of officially registered injection drug users in Armenia has increased by about 50 percent over the past year.

He stated that a total of just over 1,700 such individuals applied to Armenian narcological centers for assistance as of last January. They had 1,100 registered patients in January 2009, he said.

“There are two reasons for the rise: an increased number of drug addicts in Armenia and an increased number of those seeking assistance from the public health system,” Semerjian said at the news conference that “the reason for the increased number of applications is that drug use has been decriminalized in Armenia.”

Semerjian cautioned that the official statistics show only the tip of the iceberg. He said unofficial expert estimates based on research put the real number of heavy drug addicts in the country of 3 million at between 5,000 and 7,000. Narcologists believe that another 25,000 or so Armenians are addicted to lighter drugs such as cannabis, he added.

There are also other indications that drug trafficking and addiction in Armenia, although still low by international standards, has increased since the early 1990s. According to the Armenian police, the number of officially registered drug-related crimes committed in the country nearly doubled to 539 last year.

Earlier this year, Armenian law-enforcement reported their biggest-ever seizure of heroin which they said was smuggled by Iranian drug dealers through neighboring Turkey. A Russian national and an Iranian national were arrested after police found seven kilograms of the Class A drug in their car.

Semerjian said that unemployment and other socioeconomic problems are not the main factors behind increased drug abuse. The cause of the phenomenon is a “criminal culture” taking root in the country, he said.

Semerjian also revealed that as much as 80 percent of people receiving treatment at Armenian narcological clinics and dispensaries go back to using narcotics. “People return to their old place of residence, old friends, the same entourage, and they repeat what they did before,” he explained.


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  1. tony b said:

    the “criminal culture” comes from unemployment and socioeconomic problems for sure. so does the drug use.

    apparently semerjian was not in harlem in the 80’s… or compton in the early 90’s…

  2. john papazian said:

    I noticed that Turks and Russians as well as an Iranian were arrested. Armenia is on the trail for smuglers and until we are independent of outsiders we will be subject to them. Are we our own worst enemy?

  3. Paul from USA said:

    Armenians are addicted to lighter drugs such as cannabis? That is not true at all…………. You can not be addict to it. In fact cannabis is good for you! We have been lied to, mostly by the US about this plant. This is the most useful plant on the face of the earth. It kills cancer cells! Look it up! The corporations are the one who wanted illegal, and still to this day want it ilegal. This is the most blessed plant, that can be use in so many ways to benefit man kind………… My father might still be alive, if this plant was never made illegal…

    • naruto said:

      Actually it kills cells point — braincells. If those cells were affected by cancer, then good for you, but otherwise, cannabis makes people lazy, impatient, stupid and causes breathing problems. Look it up. If it was so effective against cancer, the disease would have been a past threat. It is not. Cannabis has its good points, but they must be specifically prescribed by a doctor, otherwise, the drug will only degrade you in every sense of the word, especially the ones bought by pushers, who grow chemically modified, dirty buds. Whether you want to admit it or not, weed is also the door to other, heavier, more damaging drugs. Studies show that the majority of heavy drug users began with weed, and not many weed smokers have stuck with weed alone.

      Corporations don’t want the drugs out. They want them in. That’s why those corporations make so many movies about them. The more people smoke it, the stupider and lazier they get, and corporations want an unaware society. A healthy, aware and intelligent nation is a nation that effectively bans this drug, and all other drugs. Shame on us for letting this happen to Armenia.

      • Paul from USA said:

        You are dead wrong! This plant is illegal because of lies, like you have just stated. People are being inprisoned, killed because of the cartels, sick people dieing because they can’t have cannabis, my father was one of them!!!! And all you say it makes you lazy???

        Look at this site

        And this site, it has cured his cancer and many others…..

        And this site, makes bio fuel for cars to run on…
        Anything made from oil can be made from this plant with no polution!!!!
        Building products, constrution materials, etc.
        Everything we need for mankind can be made with this plant. Read and learn the truth!!!!!!

        But it’s not your fault, you have been lied to all your life, so was I…….
        This PLANT, CANNABIS, HEMP, is GODS gift to us………………

        Let’s use it!!!!