A REGIONAL drug addiction centre on the Costa del Sol has celebrated its 20th anniversary by launching a new programme on breaking addiction.
The event at the centre in Velez Malaga was presided over by the town’s Mayor, Antonio Moreno Ferrer and Zoila Martin, Councillor for Social Welfare and Equality, who inaugurated the project, named “New Addictions: New Habits.”
Mr Moreno Ferrer thanked the centre and its workers for “recognising the addictions that are surfacing and increasingly affecting people due to social changes and helping the council approach and tackle them so people regain their independence and begin healthy life habits.”
Ms Martin reported 2,165 addicts have been treated at the centre over the past 20 years, adding, “in the first quarter of 2017 alone, 32 more people have been treated, an increase of 8%, bringing the total to 468 from 436.”
She explained 2017 has seen a significant increase in cocaine use in men and women, doubling the percentage recorded in the first half of 2016 with 33.93% of male addicts at the centre using the drug and 30% of women.
She added the percentage of those being treated for addiction not relating to narcotics have jumped from 1.4% to 4.55% this year.
The age of those being treated has lowered over the past six months, with those aged an average of 17 being treated for alcohol abuse, and an average age of 16.65 for cannabis use. Those from Alcaucin represented the highest proportion of centre-goers, followed by Algarrobo and Benamargosa.
The centre moved to a 400-square metre building in Calle Pescaderia Vieja in August last year from its previous location on Calle Cristo, boosting its staff with a psychologist, doctor, social worker, concierge and leisure time monitor.