Drug use increasing among young people on Bornholm

Illegal substances increasingly easy to get hold of, and the kids are taking advantage

It is easier for young people living on the island of Bornholm to get their hands on illegal drugs, and they are experimenting with them like never before.

“The substances are readily available, and it is socially acceptable among the young to use them,” SSP consultant Dennis Lindholm Nielsen told DR Nyheder.

“This is the most serious problem I have seen in years. We are hearing of children as young as 12 years old smoking marijuana, so we are really worried.”

READ MORE: Could legalising pot clean up the rot?

Nielsen said that Bornholmers, including youngsters, have no problem getting their hands on hash, pills, cocaine or any other type of illegal substance.

“It is well known among the young people I talk to that drugs can be obtained within five minutes,” said Nielsen.

No more taboos
Vibeke Juel Blem, a child and family manager on the island, said there is no longer a stigma about drug use among young people on Bornholm.

“There has been a value shift – it has become socially acceptable,” said Blem.

Tom Knudsen, the head of the youth club in Rønne, added that he had never seen cannabis being used as freely as it is now.

“These days it’s not just the boy with his cap turned around backwards,” said Knudsen.

“Now, it’s the gymnastics girl, soccer boy and computer nerd.”

Cottage industry
However, the increase in drug use among young people has been a boon to one industry on Bornholm: private security.

Jesper Lodberg from Vagt Bornholm has gone from having two to 12 security guards on his books over the past few years, as parents worried about kids wired up on drugs hire more security for private parties.

“Young people become aggressive when they are on drugs, Lodberg said. “Parents are nervous, so they hire us to keep track of who is trying to get into a party.”