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Journal number 1 ∘ Shota Abzianidze Tengiz Verulava
Use of cannabinoids, hallucinogens and stimulants among young people in Georgia



Introduction: The growing trends in drug use and the complexity of control mechanisms represent a significant challenge in public health, both nationally and globally. Young people are especially vulnerable in this regard. Premature use of drugs has a significant impact on adolescent and youth development. In the last decade, the so-called Club drug use has been rampant among young people, and cannabinoids remain the most widely used drug on the global scene. In Georgia, the events that have developed in recent years, which are changes in the legal framework and the liberalization of the state's position on narcotic drugs, in particular cannabinoids, have changed the situation in terms of the use of narcotic drugs. Very few studies are available to assess how much the situation has changed before and after the legislative changes. It is the lack of relevant information and scientific studies that became the main motivation for conducting the present study, to further enable the possibility of data comparison in policy planning and to increase public awareness.

Purpose of the study: The purpose of the study is to study the frequency, characteristics, and correlated factors of the consumption of cannabinoids, hallucinogens, and stimulants among young people with Georgian citizenship aged 19-29.

Research methodology: the paper presents a quantitative type of research, which was conducted on the principle of an online survey, with 27 closed questionnaires. Convenience sampling was used as a method of selecting respondents. The questionnaire was created using Google Forms, and SPSS and Microsoft Excel programs were used for data processing.

Research results: 447 respondents took part in the research, 42% of whom used tobacco (56% of men and 30% of women). Alcohol is consumed by 77% of respondents (85% of men and 70% of women). Among drug users, 39% of respondents had used cannabinoids to varying degrees in the past 2 years, including 18% regularly (50% of men and 16% of women). Hallucinogens and stimulants were consumed by 13% (22% of men and 7% of women).

Discussion, conclusion: in terms of gender, men predominate among users of both cannabinoids and hallucinogens and their share is more than 70%, there is also a difference in consumption by gender, where consumption among men is several times higher than consumption among women in the case of all three types of substances. It is also an important issue that most users, including all three types of substances, consume alcohol and tobacco at the same time. Social circle is also an essential factor. In the case of the consumption of narcotic substances, those people around whom there is a consumption practice prevail. Most people got information about narcotic drugs through the Internet, social networks, and scientific articles. As for the provoking factors, the friend's influence, personal interest, and desire to have fun were mentioned most often. Based on the results of the research, the paper provides recommendations that will contribute to the improvement of the situation in terms of the consumption of narcotic drugs, raising the awareness of the population, and increasing the role of public health in terms of mental health protection.