Caritas is not convinced that legalising cannabis for recreational use will kill the black market for the drug, its director has warned.
Gatt was speaking during the graduation ceremony of 16 people who concluded a drug rehabilitation programme with Caritas.
Anthony Gatt spoke of his fear that the black market will adapt by offering cheaper or, “even worse”, a stronger variant of cannabis.
In 2018, Caritas had 738 people seeking help for drug addiction, the highest number in recent years.
Gatt said that for the first time in Caritas’s history, the number of people seeking help with a cocaine dependency (41%) surpassed those with a dependency on heroin (31%). Around 23% of patients sought help for cannabis dependence.
“These are indications of where the drug trends are going. We are seeing serious damage caused by synthetic drugs and clients sometimes are unsure of what substance they are consuming. We are concerned on cheaper drugs, and stronger substances. These factors strengthen dependence,” Gatt said.