STA, 6 November 2019 - Tobacco and alcohol seem to be losing appeal among Slovenian youth, according to a survey presented at a round table debate in Otočec on Wednesday. However, the use of cannabis is on the rise along with social media and video games addictions.
The results of the 2018 international survey Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children show that smoking as a habit has become less common among teenagers, especially 13- and 15-year-olds, heard the debate hosted by the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ).
The share of youth who were drunk at least twice in their lives also dropped in all age groups, NIJZ head Nina Pirnat said in presenting the results of the survey.
Meanwhile, the use of cannabis seems to be on the rise, as one in five 15-year-olds and almost half of 17-year-olds have tried it.
Another problem is internet additions, with one in ten young people addicted to social media and online videogames.
Martina Vuk, a state secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, said a breakthrough should be made in these fields such as the one that led to a ban on smoking in closed public spaces.
She said this had been achieved only after a broad social debate on smoking, so she believes a general social consensus should be reached on what is acceptable and what is not.
"For as long as we are highlighting wine as food, we do not have a clear picture on what we want," Vuk stressed.
The head of the Public Health Directorate at the ministry, Mojca Gobec, agreed, adding that debates on this must not be confined to experts. "We must raise the debate to the national level," she said.
Vuk thinks progress in this field is being obstructed by strong lobbies on the one hand and weak politicians on the the other.
The participants agreed though that a lot can be done in terms of prevention in schools and with various programmes promoting a healthy lifestyle.
The debate was held as part of a national conference to mark the National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, which the NIJZ hosts in cooperation with the education, health and labour ministries.
All our stories on marijuana in Slovenia are here
STA, 15 October 2019 - Police officers at the Dobova Border crossing with Croatia (E) have discovered 13 kilos of heroin on a passenger train from Turkey destined for Austria.
After the train stopped at the border on Saturday, the police officers checking it found the heroin in a duffel bag located in the wagon used by the train staff.
Speaking to the press in Dobova on Tuesday, France Božičnik of the Novo Mesto Police Administration said the seized heroin had been put in 26 half-kilo packages. The duffel bag also contained a bag with half a kilo of marijuana.
According to Božičnik, who heads the criminal police sector, the duffel bag belonged to a 35-year-old Serbian citizen, who was employed on the train. He has been detained and is facing between five and 15 years in prison.
The police believe that the Serbian drug smuggler is a part of a criminal gang, and the investigation is heading in that direction. The seized heroin could have been sold at more than EUR 1.33 million, Božičnik added.
In the last 15 years, a total of 900 kilos of illicit drugs have been seized in the territory covered by the Novo Mesto Police Administration, including 460 kilos of heroin with the latest bust included.
More than 400 kilos of marijuana, 10 kilos of amphetamines and a smaller quantity of various pills containing psychoactive substances and cocaine have also been seized during that period.
August 25, 2019
According to Delo and Slovenske novicea Slovenian truck driver is under investigation by British authorities who discovered several kilos of cocaine hidden in a refrigerator truck at the border crossing in Dover.
Delo states that the detained driver is allegedly the former professional football player Srečko Pavlovič (43), who has worked for several logistics companies in the last few years. The truck in which between 6 to 10 kg of cocaine was discovered belongs to a company Pavlovič has been employed with for a couple of months.
Whether Pavlovič is also going to be indicted with drug trafficking will be known after the investigation is completed.
STA, 30 July 2019 - The Croatian police have apprehended at the weekend a Slovenian couple who was trying to smuggle more than eight kilograms of illicit drugs to Croatia, the Rijeka-based newspaper Novi List reported on Tuesday.
The couple from Kamnik near Ljubljana, who were caught with the drugs at the Jelšane/Rupa border crossing north-west of Rijeka, are facing sentences of between one and twelve years in prison.
The Croatian police apprehended the 41-year-old man and the 40-year-old woman on Saturday at around 5am as they were entering Croatia, discovering the drugs in their vehicle. The couple was taken into custody in Rijeka.
The police seized a total of 8.2 kilograms of various illicit drugs, with amphetamines representing more than half. The pair was also smuggling cocaine, heroin, marijuana, hashish and ecstasy.
The drugs have an estimated street value of almost EUR 150,000, Novi List said, adding that this was one of the largest drug busts in the area recently.
The drugs were found in a backpack in the trunk of the car, in a bag put in the compartment for the spare tire, and in the right front door. The pair tried to hide the drugs with clothes and accessories for holidaying.
STA, 29 May 2019 - The NGO DrogArt has launched a campaign to raise the level of nightlife culture in Slovenia and reduce the dangers of reckless partying.
The NGO is urging nightclubs, bars and event organisers to have trained staff available at all times and raise awareness among their guests about the dangers of drink and driving, including with brochures.
DrogArt would also like them to offer water, condoms and ear plugs to their customers free of charge.
The clubs and events organisers who will meet all these demands will be awarded a special NightArt quality certificate.
According to the head of the NightArt project, Lucija Golčer, many clubs around Europe have such certificates, which cost EUR 200 a year.
In Slovenia no club has received it yet.
DrogArt has promoted the project in several clubs in Ljubljana and one in Maribor, with its activists distributing 550 condoms and 300 ear plugs. The campaign was very well received by the revellers, Golčer said.
DrogArt campaigns against alcohol and drug abuse, offering counselling, psychotherapy and psychosocial assistance to addicts.
Its 2017 on-line survey among 554 drug users and 102 attendants of drug abuse programmes in Slovenia has shown most drug users take drugs a few times a year (22%) and several times a month but less than once a week (22%). They mostly smoke marijuana, or take MDMA, cocaine and amphetamines.
Among the attendants of drug abuse programmes, most respondents said they take drugs every day, mostly methadone, tranquillisers, heroin and marijuana.
Related: What’s on in Ljubljana…
STA, 28 April - Forty-seven people died in Slovenia in 2017 of causes related to drug abuse, seven more than in 2016, shows data from the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ).
Drug-related deaths have been rising since 2013. In 2017, one person who died was a teenager aged 15-19, four were aged 20-24, and as many as 16 were older than 45.
The vast majority of the casualties, or 79%, were men, according to the NIJZ's publication on illegal drugs in Slovenia in 2017 and in the first half of 2018.
The majority of the deaths from 2017 resulted from heroin and cocaine intoxication, 18 and 14, respectively.
As many as seven resulted from other synthetic opioids, and there were eight intentional intoxications, or overdoses.
Police processed almost 2,000 criminal acts related to illegal drugs, with cannabis accounting for the majority, followed by cocaine, heroin and amphetamines.
A survey on treatment has shown 211 persons (86.4%) who sought treatment for the first time or re-entered such treatment in 2017 did so due to problems with opioids.
Fifteen persons (6%) cited problems with cannabis as the reason for treatment.
The number of people seeking treatment for cannabis rose in 2017, after falling in 2016 for the first time in several years.
Ever since 2011, cannabis (THC) has been the drug for which patients were most often treated at the Centre for Clinic Toxicology and Pharmacology in Ljubljana.
Meanwhile, results of a survey into drug abuse has shown that 42.5% of all surveyed 17-year-olds have tried cannabis at least once, boys more often than girls.
An online survey on the use of new psychoactive substances has shown that 12% of University of Ljubljana students abuse them.
According to another online survey, carried out by the Slovenian Traffic Safety Agency in 2016, 5% of almost 3,030 persons polled were involved in driving under the influence in the 12 months before the poll, again more men and women.
In 2017, the Ministry of Labour, the Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities earmarked almost 3.3 million euro for various programmes to fight addiction.
Meanwhile, the NIJZ's estimates the country earmarked a total of 10.4 million euro to deal with the issue, including for preventive programmes.
STA, 5 February 2019 - Ljubljana police have arrested a senior criminal investigator with access to sensitive police information who appears to have been involved in drug dealing and was caught in wiretaps.
The arrest was announced by the Ljubljana Police Directorate on Tuesday and the case transferred to the special task force of prosecutors dealing with suspected crime in police ranks.
Slovenian media report that the suspect was on the staff of the police's intelligence department and had been busted dealing drugs.
Police caught whiff of his off-duty activity in October, when they were wiretapping suspected drug dealers, according to Večer.
Večer also reports that his clearance gave him access to information that may have been of interest to criminals.
The police did not reveal the man's identity beyond saying that he was a senior detective who was "involved with sources and informants".
But Večer says the suspect was a senior detective who had received a special commendation from the police commissioner for successfully investigating the massive robbery of an SKB bank vault that took place in 2005.
As a result of the sting, two heads of departments dealing with the acquisition and analysis of intelligence have been transferred.
Tomaž Pečjak, the police commissioner's chief of staff, told the press the department heads were not suspected of any wrongdoing, they were transferred as a matter of precaution.
Police Commissioner Tatjana Bobnar also decreed that the police intelligence and analytics department be reorganised to improve efficiency.
STA, 5 February 2019 - Representatives of the prosecution and police have signed an agreement on the prosecution of police officers, which is expected to provide them with better conditions for cooperation and exchange of information in relevant cases.
The agreement was signed on Tuesday by State Prosecutor General Drago Šketa and Police Commissioner Tatjana Bobnar, the Office of the State Prosecutor General announced in a press release.
It determines the rules for cooperation and exchange of information between the police and the department for the investigation and prosecution of officers with special authorisations of the Specialised State Prosecution.
Šketa and Tatjana Bobnar said that the agreement enabled better cooperation and exchange of information in cases when there is reasonable suspicion that an officer employed in the police has committed a criminal act prosecuted ex officio.
Šketa was quoted as saying that the "agreement means quicker and more efficient prosecution of criminal acts, with police officers informing the special department about all criminal acts."
Police officers will also "provide prosecutors with expert and technical assistance in cases requiring specific know-how and technical equipment which the special department does not possess".
Announcing the signing of the agreement, the newspaper Dnevnik said today that the exchange of information between the police and prosecution had not been automatic so far.
The "grey area" has been the cases which were managed "past the police", the paper added.
If an alleged injured party reported a police officer directly to the prosecution, the police force was not notified about the report, and had no access to the information about the further steps taken by the prosecution.
There were cases when the prosecution launched criminal proceedings without the police even knowing that a police officer has been accused and being able to carry out internal and disciplinary proceedings, Dnevnik said.