Teen Alcohol and Drug Use

The regulations as they affect teenagers in Bulgaria...

Living with teenagers in a foreign country can be tough, especially with different guidelines on alcohol and drug consumption. Here is some information on the official governmental stance:

Teenagers and Alcohol

The legal age for the purchase and consumption of alcohol outside the home is 18. Alcohol laws make no reference to the consumption of alcohol in the home. Those who sell alcohol to minors are subject to different fines according to the seriousness of the offence.

Despite the country’s strict laws, alcohol is still a major problem among young people in Bulgaria due to peer pressure, family environment and the fact that it’s still relatively easy for youngsters to buy alcohol.

Regular spot checks in night clubs, restaurants and cafés are conducted by the police around the country; an Identity Card (????? ?????) may be required to prove age.

Information on Anonymous Alcoholics in Bulgaria as well as contact information for the support groups in some of the major cities in the country is available on the AA website (in Bulgarian).

Teenagers and Drugs

In recent years, there has been an increase in substance abuse by young Bulgarians. Programmes and strategies for prevention, control and reduction of the number of drug addicts are one of the priorities of governmental policy. School-based prevention, protective school environment and the increase of public awareness are some of the basic objectives.

Under Bulgarian law, the possession (even of minimal doses for personal use), use and distribution of both soft and hard drugs are illegal. The penalties vary in accordance with the seriousness of the offence from fines and probation to imprisonment for 1 to 15 years.

The main form of treatment is abstinence treatment. Substitution and maintenance treatment with methadone is also available in major cities.

Rehabilitation programmes are offered by day centres and the two licenced therapeutic communities in Bulgaria – the Phoenix house in Brakiovtsi and the New Start home in Bunovo. Joining these programmes is voluntary.

  • For a comprehensive lists of hospitals, day centres and therapeutic communities in the country: Click here (in Bulgarian)
  • A national information hotline is available Tel: 0888 99 18 66 (English-speaking)
  • Drugsinfo website