A Colombian government study revealed high levels of drug use among students, local media reported Thursday.
According to officials, the report demonstrates that the Andean nation is increasingly becoming a drug-consuming nation.
The report revealed that 2.1% of students between the ages of 11 and 18 have consumed at least one psychoactive substance in their lives.
The list of abused substances includes glues and solvents, poppers, hallucinogens, ecstasy, marijuana and crack cocaine.
Marijuana was the most popular substance among the group. The study estimated that 7% of all students have tried cannabis at least once and 178,000 students have smoked it in the last year.
Cocaine consumption among the target group is lower with just 2.8% of students having tried the drug at least once and only 1.9% reportedly consuming it in the past year.
Health Minister Beatriz Londoño noted that the Colombian government does not currently have a large-scale prevention program for adolescent drug abuse, but announced plans to train 5,700 doctors to recognize signs of addiction in at-risk youth.
The government has established the chat page www.unaopcionenlinea.gov.co, where young people with drug abuse problems can receive advice and rehabilitation information.
The study was released just days after the Ministry of Health reported that drug use in Colombia’s major cities is increasing.