In the early 2008 and with the assistance of the National Focal Point on Drugs and Drug Addictions, a research team from the Preventive Information Center – city of Pernik carried out an investigation concerning certain aspects of health behaviour, evaluations and attitudes among the pupils of this city.
An extract of 1667 pupils from the 9th to 12th form was drawn up in 12 schools with 1231 pupils having been inquired.
Some essential conclusions from the study:
- Most of the pupils in the city of Pernik live with their parents (this refers to ¾ of them) yet in their greater part they experience loneliness. If they enter into a conflict that would mainly be with their mothers and fathers and also with friends and coevals. More than half of the pupils are not inclined to take a medicine in order to achieve a temporary effect.
- Pupils are satisfied with the progress of their schooling. There is no big difference with respect to the causes for their absence from school – whether this happened owing to a disease, because they play truant or for another reason.
- Their friends would rather disapprove if they find out they take drugs and would make an attempt to stop them from doing so. It is the opinion of 1/4 that no friend of theirs has tried a narcotic, yet 1/5 suppose that had happened.
- Narcotics have been offered to almost half of the pupils and this shows that there exists a problem in connection with their distribution in the city.
- Parties are not a small prerequisite in the use of narcotic substances although pupils, in their greater part, would not accept to try some kind of narcotic if the proposal comes from a friend.
- Almost 1/3 of the pupils smoke on a daily basis or almost daily, which is close to the picture in other cities. Most often they begin to smoke at the age of 13-15. Pupils who smoke most cigarettes per days are those from the 12 grades. 37% have never smoked thus far.
- Current indulging in drinking of alcohol (during the past 30 days) is characteristic for 3/4 of the pupils in Pernik. Almost the same number of them had got drunk. Something that even happens to teenagers of the 9th grade – 15.1 % of them do it often. Nevertheless, more than half of those inquired are of the opinion that drinking of alcohol poses a great risk to health.
- Pupils give most prominence to beer, to a lesser extent – to vine and hard alcohol. It is characteristic for Pernik that vine is much more preferred by women than men. Health problems due to alcohol have had just 1/10 of those interviewed.
- In general, pupils in the city of Pernik are familiar with the main types of narcotic substances. They know about the effect and consequences of narcotics use mainly from the movies they watch, from stories told by friends and also from teachers and parents.
- To a greatest extent they use marihuana, amphetamines, ecstasy, hashish and cocaine. Methadone, the picot and heroin are the least used substances. The level of use in general is about the average for the country.
- The most quoted reasons for a first use by pupils of any of the substances are: out of curiosity, for pleasure, from boredom and in order to break off from reality and this coincides with their opinion about the reason for their coevals start using narcotic substances. There exist essential differences with regard to the reasons: in order to be accepted by the others (the group, the crowd), to subdue personal problems in their communication, in order to get away from reality because they feel lonely.
- Pupils are of the opinion that drugs use is foremost a problem for the country and their city and to a lesser extent – of the school they go to. According to them the measures that need to be taken in order to resolve this problem most of all are: to impose drastic laws for producers and distributors of narcotics; to speak openly about drug addicts’ problems and to create more medical services for treatment. Also of importance for them is to impose drastic laws for those using narcotics.
- According to the pupils the attitude of parents to drug users is negative to a great extent. The pupils themselves too, accept the use of narcotics to a little extent. They rather accept the drinking of alcohol, than smoking.