It is hard to say at what point an addition begins. Not every person who consumes alcohol, nicotine (cigarettes) or other substances causing addiction becomes addicted. An addiction develops gradually in various phases: first one tries something out, then one gets used to it and finally one needs a certain substance or a certain behavior to feel good and get around with every day life. It actually is not so important, what the substance causing addiction is (like alcohol, cannabis or gamble). It is essential how often one consumes it, how much of a substance one consumes and how much one‘s well-being depends on this.

Law prohibits drugs

Possessing certain drugs and dealing with them is illegal and punishable. Details are listed in the narcotics act. Among the illegal drugs are cannabis (hash, marijuana), amphetamines (ecstasy, crack), heroin and cocaine.

Addicts have a right to get help

Addicts have a right to get medical help, counseling or therapy. Often, the substance of the addiction determines every day life and thoughts of an ill person. Family members and friends also suffer from this. This is why in Bonn not only counseling and help offerings exist for addicts but also for partners, parents and children.

Alcohol, cigarettes and other tobacco products are legal for adults. However, they are   everything else but healthy. Smoking is the most severe and avoidable health risk and nicotine addictions come quickly. Many thousands of people die every year as a result of alcohol and nicotine consumption.

Addiction and protection of minors

Health of children and youth is especially at risk by alcohol, cigarettes and other addictive substances. The earlier a young person gets into contact with substances causing addiction, the greater the danger of addiction and by permanent damage. This is why tobacco products are only sold to adults older than 18 years. Smoking of water pipes in public may not allowed to youth. Alcohol may not be sold to youth younger than 16 years. They may also not drink alcohol in public. Spirits like liquor, ‘schnaps’ and whisky are generally only legal for adults. This is regulated by the protection of young persons act.

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