8. 9. 2023

Online courses against addictions in children

Over 100,000 teenagers in the Czech Republic drink excessive amounts of alcohol, 40,000 teenagers smoke. Addictions to electronic devices or pornography are rapidly increasing. The alarming situation could be changed by new online educational courses designed for paediatricians, gynecologists and their nurses across the country. These will already help them recognize and detect various addictions in children and adolescents during a routine preventive check-up at the doctor's office. The online courses were prepared by experts from the Addiction Clinic of the 1st Faculty of Medicine of the UK and VFN, together with the Society of Practitioners for Children and Adolescents of the ČLS JEP, with the support of the Sirius Foundation, and over the course of two years, hundreds of doctors have tried them. They will start in earnest in September and October this year.

The Czech Republic has a sad lead among European countries in the number of teenagers who have ever lit a cigarette, tasted alcohol or used cannabis. "From the presented estimates, it follows that tobacco addiction affects over forty thousand children and adolescents in the 14- to 19-year-old population," states Prof. PhDr. Michal Miovský, Ph.D., head of the Addiction Clinic of the 1st Faculty of Medicine, UK and VFN, and adds: "The situation is even worse with alcohol use, it is estimated that over 100,000 teenagers drink excessive amounts of alcohol. Women are catching up with men in many parameters, unfortunately also in addictions. Basically, a tenth of the adult female population uses alcohol at risk.'

Covid shuffled the cards

Tobacco with alcohol, non-prescription drugs with addictive potential and cannabis dominate among children and adolescents. Covid-19 and social isolation significantly worsened consumption among risk groups and increased behavioral (non-substance) addictions – overuse of electronic devices (tablets, mobile phones, internet and social networks), gaming and internet pornography. Recently, addiction to new substances - kratom, HHC and tobacco pouches - has been increasing significantly among children.

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