It is a common term used by young Algerians, it refers to a person who is under the drug's effect; we say he takes a “zetla” meaning he takes some drugs. We often hear this word, in popular neighborhoods and sometimes, we witness on "zetla" money exchange between dealers. There are several factors for Algeria's increase in drug consumption: poverty, unemployment, the psychological effects of terrorism, violence and instability, so the person who takes ”zetla” wants to escape from reality by being in a perfect world of imagination and hallucinations; but sometimes we see that drugs are taken by young people who have a lot of free time or just to try new things and searching for some adventure, so we find the simple drug users, who takes drugs to change humor, or for the pleasure, or who have friends who take it to escape the concerns, even some youth consume it to be fashionable or because it is part of their social life, we find also The drug addict, who take drugs as often as possible, by any means and at any price, to avoid social difficulties and problems. Some young people take several drugs at the same time; it can be extremely dangerous because it can increase the risk of heart attack or death.
In Algeria, addiction problem among young people, often start under the age of 18 years and the drug use by youth is another social phenomenon that has grown in the recent years, and that’s why we see dealers selling their products in front of middle schools and high schools. Something that has a negative impact on the progress of the education of students, the effects of drugs on students and personal relationships are remarkable; missing school, having ineffective communication and misunderstanding with parents and teachers, staying away from home, having below-average marks, asking for more pocket money and nervousness. Nearly half of all Algerian high school students have used drugs, of these young users, 8% are women. To this effect, a national survey of the prevalence of drugs in schools will be launched during the second quarter of 2016.
Algeria has always been used as a transit area for drugs traffic. The majority of drugs trafficked through Algeria consists of cannabis and cannabis resin that enters from Morocco and departs the country from northern coastal cities, and ports of Oran, Algiers, Bejaia, and Annaba act as hubs for drug traffickers. These drugs are then transported by high-speed boat to southern European countries. Some are consumed in Algeria, and there is some cannabis cultivation here as well. Sometimes also drugs transported by illegal migrants entering Algeria from the south and seeking to finance their journeys north.
According to the national office to fight against drugs (ONLDT), during the first eleven months of 2015, more than 109 tons of cannabis resin were seized in Algeria, of which 60.35% in the Western region of the country. Nearly 13,000 addicts have received medical and therapeutic care in the first nine months of 2015, more than two-thirds are young people aged between 16 and 35.