Hesse: More crack consumption: Cities are looking for new solutions

Frankfurt/Main (dpa/lhe) - According to researchers, the use of the drug crack is increasing, especially in large western and northern German cities.

Hesse: More crack consumption: Cities are looking for new solutions

Frankfurt/Main (dpa/lhe) - According to researchers, the use of the drug crack is increasing, especially in large western and northern German cities. The municipalities would like more freedom in the search for solutions, as became clear at a specialist conference on Tuesday in Frankfurt. Crack is a drug made from cocaine and smoked. It has a strong effect, but only for a short time. Experts see a high "potential for neglect" and a lot of aggression among consumers. Unlike heroin, there is no substitution option.

Crack has played "an important role" in Frankfurt for about 25 years, as drug consumption researcher Bernd Werse from Frankfurt's Goethe University reported. For several years, however, the drug has been “more dominant than ever”, even more so since the corona pandemic. Employees of drug help facilities in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover and Bremen also reported growing problems.

The situation in Frankfurt's Bahnhofsviertel is perceived by many as "unbearable", admitted Frankfurt's health department head Stefan Majer (Greens). However, the motto should not be "out of sight out of mind": the aim must be to help the seriously ill. In order to curb consumption and alleviate the consequences, legislative changes are needed at federal level.

The federal government's drug commissioner, Burkhard Blienert, assumes that the planned "reorientation and readjustment of German drug and addiction policy" will also lead to "greater responsibility and more support for the local authorities". You want to give the cities the opportunity to try out new ways and carry out model projects.

Valid data on crack consumption are not available, as reported by Esther Neumeier from the Institute for Therapy Research in Munich. The users are often high-risk drug users or homeless, in the general population the drug plays almost no role. Crack is particularly widespread in large cities in the north and west, as well as in Berlin. Neumeier suspects that the reason for the growing consumption is the ease of production in combination with the good availability of cocaine and low costs, as well as the general trend towards smoking drugs rather than injecting them.

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