Youth and drugs in Tirana’s high-schools

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High school is either a time period in our lives that we have forgotten because there was not much of value to remember about it or just a vague collection of memories for which there is now diminishing reasons to cherish as just childhood stuff. But then, we tend not to give up all of our memories that easily, so there is something that remains, or that even just comes to mind thanks to a small reminder by way of a visit nearby your old school or the name of that place crops up none other than online!

The latter form of reminder was what brought back to my mind those fleeting years of high school.

Now, unless you have a child that is going to school you do not hear many stories of drug use and distribution inside them. However, such a recent story, as reported by the media, talked about the main arts school “Jordan Misja” in Tirana (which is where I went to school as well). These two students, ages 12 and 14 had smuggled drugs into the school and after using them had also tried to hide them into a potato chips bag so as not to be discovered. However, the news had gotten out and both had been discovered.

Even then, before the year 2000 had rolled around the use of some drugs in this renowned Tirana art school was known by the students (I was there) as everyone was an artist and artist are world-known to be rather more expressive and tolerant towards such experiences. However, with the increase of affluence and access, pupils and students have seemingly increased use of such substances and now the school authorities are working to deal with this ever-present and ever-growing issue.

Moreover, the saddest aspect yet is the fact that the quality of teaching at this school has not improved in years!

On a side note, the growing problem of drug abuse and addiction has led to the establishment of special centers that help address and treat such cases. For example, I know that drugs addiction treatment is well known and institutionally addressed in the developed world (e.g. U.S.A where I lived for five years – example http://www.drugtreatment.com/) and there are even many centers/institutions that offer help to those in need (both to the families and those afflicted). However, this is not yet the case in Albania where basic medical treatments are still a major issue. Though progress is being made thanks to foreign organizations and donors that are intervening with special programs for those affected.