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High Youth Unemployment May Cause More Drug Abuse: EU Agency

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Demonstrators chant slogans during a student rally in central London on November 21, 2012 against sharp rises in university tuition fees, funding cuts and high youth unemployment. AFP PHOTO/CARL COURT (Photo credit should read CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators chant slogans during a student rally in central London on November 21, 2012 against sharp rises in university tuition fees, funding cuts and high youth unemployment. AFP PHOTO/CARL COURT (Photo credit should read CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

LISBON, Portugal — The European Union's drug agency says high youth unemployment in some EU countries and cuts to public health budgets could reverse advances in fighting drug abuse.

The annual European Drug Report published Tuesday said record levels of treatment provision and a drop in new heroin use and cocaine consumption were among positive developments documented last year.

But it warned that jobless young people are vulnerable to drug abuse, while reductions in government spending as part of austerity policies could hurt progress in containing drug-related problems.

The Lisbon, Portugal-based agency said other concerns included the emergence of new synthetic drugs and the growth of drug sales over the Internet.

It said those trends required new strategies for prevention and treatment.

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