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Study says refugee influx partly to blame for increase in drug use

By JT - Nov 17,2016 - Last updated at Nov 17,2016

This year, anti-narcotics police dealt with 1,025 cases of drug abuse and conducted 3,450 awareness activities (Petra photo)

AMMAN — A local study released on Wednesday on the magnitude of illicit narcotics in the Kingdom indicated that the large number of refugees was a main factor that contributed to the increase of drug use.

The study, prepared by the Social and Economic Council, indicated that the so-called Arab Spring and the huge influx of refugees helped spread illicit drugs in Jordan and contributed to the “changes of lifestyles”, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

“The lack of clarity on the concepts of independence among parents and their children as well as the fading of the Arab and Islamic identity, and the spread of social media have all contributed to the problem,” Petra quoted the study as saying.

The study said that many private and public entities have failed to “do their jobs in the fields of awareness and providing the proper treatment for the illegal drug problem in Jordan,” Petra added.

“There is also another factor, which includes the flagrant interference by the family and the tribe to defend drug addicts and drug dealers, and resist their arrest by using — on some occasions — firearms that resulted in the death of police officers,” the study said.

The report provided several recommendations, including beefing up drug addicts’ rehabilitation centres with more staff and specialised experts to scientifically deal with the issue, in addition to launching awareness campaigns in various educational institutes.

Other recommendations included subjecting citizens to random drug examinations, including for prospective couples, students and individuals applying for jobs.

On Monday, the Public Security Department (PSD) said Anti-Narcotics Department (AND) personnel have dealt with 302 drug-related cases since the beginning of the month, arresting 310 suspects.

The cases included 44 that involved drug dealing and 255 cases of drug abuse. 

Fifty-five of the arrested suspects were reportedly involved in drug dealing.

Earlier this month, PSD Director Maj. Gen. Atef Saudi said that AND has dealt with 1,564 cases of drug smuggling and dealing, arresting 3,126 suspects so far this year.

This year, AND agents dealt with 1,025 cases of drug abuse and conducted 3,450 awareness activities as well as treating 1,068 addicts at the department’s rehabilitation centre, he added.

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