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10,000 drug users in the Kurdistan Region

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10,000 drug users in the Kurdistan Region

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri May 24, 2019 10:08 pm

10,000 drug users in the Kurdistan Region

Sulaimani's drug czar told Rudaw this week that drug use is on the rise in the Kurdistan Region

“Unfortunately the number [of drug addicts] is increasing, not declining. We’ve informed the top authorities of the threat posed by drugs, including the prime minister, deputy prime minister, the parliament and ministry of health," said Jalal Amin Beg, the director of Sulaimani's Anti-Drugs Directorate.

He claimed there are 10,000 "drug users" in the Kurdistan Region. The population of the Kurdistan Region is estimated to range from 5.5 million to just over 6 million, although Iraq hasn't held a census in more than three decades.

"We’ve visited them and raised reports showing drug use is on the brink of becoming a widespread phenomenon. The numbers are unpleasant because, unfortunately, there are now women and teenagers [addicted to drugs]," Beg said.

According to the directorate's statistics, 941 people were arrested for drug offenses last year. In the same time span, 415 kilograms of assorted drugs were seized.

They included opium, heroin, theriac, hashish, marijuana, and stimulants like methamphetamine

"We have plans, in the process of taking a stand against drugs, to build two drug treatment centers in Erbil and Sulaimani. But unfortunately due to the financial crisis we couldn’t implement the project," said Khalis Qadir, the spokesperson for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Health.

The Kurdistan Region lacks rehabilitation centers to treat addiction. Additionally, the Kurdistan Region's detention facilities do not separate drug dealers from other inmates allowing "gang networks" of drug dealers to continue.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/230520191
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10,000 drug users in the Kurdistan Region

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