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Authorities report increase in drug-related cases during pandemic

(Photo: Jordan News)
(Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Authorities have recorded an increase in drug-related cases during the Coronavirus pandemic, a senior anti-narcotics officer has announced.   اضافة اعلان

Director of the Narcotics Control Department Colonel Hassan Al-Qudah said in media statements made the remark on the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, stating that the total number of people in detention for drug- related crimes is 14,000 currently. 

In the period ending June 22 this year, he told Al-Mamlaka TV, there were 2,284 cases of drug trafficking and dealing, compared with 1,651 cases in the same period last year. The total drug cases was 9,356 in the same time span in 2020, the year which saw total lockdowns for weeks after the outbreak of the pandemic in March. The Number was slightly higher in the first six months of this year, recorded at 9,360.

Jordan was not alone as Covid-19 hit the world.

Most countries have reported a rise in the use of cannabis. In surveys of health watchdogs across 77 countries, 42 per cent asserted that cannabis use had increased. In the same period, there was a rise in the use of non-medical pharmaceutical drugs.  

Jordan witnessed a noticeable rise in the use, possession and trafficking of drugs in Jordan over years span between 2016 and 2020. In 2020, 3,937 cases of drug dealing were recorded while 16,118 cases of drug abuse were recorded during the same year.   

In the years of 2019 and 2020, crimes due to both possession and trafficking of drugs grew in number to 16,359 in 2019 alone, and 16,118 in 2020, according to statistics. 

In an interview with Jordan News, Thahir Al-Qurshi a crime specialist said: “There are two reasons that can lead to drug crimes, a subjective cause stemming from the individual and their personal pleasure to try a certain substance, or the individual has experience and brings on a second party to join them in the act. Drug addictions of this sort are often present among groups of friends.” 

He added, “Drug use/ addiction issues may stem from psychological and family pressures which cause the individual to escape their reality and get involved with drug use to relieve their personal crisis.”  

By reaching out to substances as temporary redeemers, drug addicts often risk more trouble for themselves than what they had started with initially.  

“Drug users often expand their circle and promote substance abuse, to both find a financial and entertainment partner”, according to Qurshi. “Such individuals are likely to manipulate people into accepting their offers.” 

“Addicts often place substances in one’s beverage,” according to the expert. Crimes also include car accidents, murders, property vandalism, all due to the absence of one’s mind and all of which are major causes of many deaths in recent years, he added.  

While under the influence, addicts were found to have used sharp weapons, and have engaged in murder crimes of family members. Substance abuse causes irresponsible acts due to the absence of mental control, and leads them to feel as though they are superior to all.  

Citing recent studies, the pundit said Jordan has become a corridor and destination for drug trafficking. Furthermore, the percentage of drugs that are consumed in the country has become clear, and the cases in addiction and treatment centers, and crimes resulting from drug cases and related to them, are present and officially recognized.  

Jordan is a transit point for smugglers due to its geographic location between drug producing and consuming countries. An area of concern is Jordan’s border with Syria.  Jordanian border guards have responded to several illegal smuggling attempts, noted Qudah, citing “huge quantities seized” in these operations.  

“This crime is an international crime, not a local Jordanian crime. There must be an increase in the efficiency of the agencies concerned with drug-related law enforcement,” Qurashi concluded.  

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