Sitting among the vines in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, Michel Emad, a retired soldier, remembers the not-so-distant time when he cultivated cannabis before replacing it with red and white grapes used
We need to make a diagnosis of the drug problem in the State of Kuwait based on its current state According to numerous studies and scientific research the most important reasons for the spread of the drug problem are as follows:
• The availability of narcotic substances, especially new substances that have been lately banned (09/04/2016) including the Voodoo (Spice and other drugs) abused by young people.
• The availability on the market of consumer products without control and quantity delimitation, in particular the shower salt to which chemicals can be added to manufacture narcotic drugs.
• The availability of psychotropic therapeutic substances used in psychotherapy that are not included in the table of banned psychotropic substances such as Lyrica, Xanax and Parkinol that are abused by some people due to poor control over private pharmacies that are not required to present relevant sold quantities as required by import and export licenses for these drugs.
• The neglect and weak control on chemical precursors, including the acetic anhydride substance, which began to be misused, especially as it is used in heroin production. There are substances that have other legitimate uses such as in the soap and cleaning products industries, yet these substances have also illegal uses and are known around the world as components used by the drug and explosives industries.
• The use of modern and rapid communication technology, especially social networks, in the distribution of drugs, especially with the lack of media, security and commercial control over these means of communication.
• Some financial intermediaries such as corporations carry out banking and money transfers without judicial control, and a percentage of these funds are often dedicated to the purchase and sale of drugs.
• The accumulation of some marginal employees in the country of different nationalities, with an imbalance in rates between nationalities.
• Dissemination of the culture of corruption among young people who are convinced that the best way to be rich is through the rapid gain from drug trafficking, especially when they evade legal penalties by paying their foreign partners against their indictment.
• The slowness of proceedings in drug cases due to lack of competent jurisdiction to consider these issues, which leads to slow sentencing against drug offenders.
• Entries and exits through the sea lack restrictions, navigation conditions or specified schedule; Indeed, navigation activity is ongoing round the clock which facilitates smuggling operations.
• The increase in the number of health institutes, particularly those involved in muscles building, with the lack of supervision, and the spread of amphetamines that are prohibited at international and national levels.
• The opening of public places frequented by young people, such as restaurants and cafes, 24 hours a day creates a state of anarchy especially that some clients with criminal records go to those places.
• Some drug users take advantage of the legal opportunities to treat addictions (registering voluntarily in the treatment programs or through addiction complaints) to continue to use drugs, and the majority of them commit crimes, including crimes of violence and murder.
• The inability of drug treatment centers to accommodate all drug abuse cases due to an increase in the number of people who voluntarily register in the treatment program and those who are transferred to centers by court order or following a complaint.
In my next article I will discuss the diagnosis of the drug problem in the State of Kuwait in the light of the international challenges that have contributed to the increase in the drug problem.
Dr. Ali Ayed Al Humaidan
International expert in the field of drugs and psychotropic substances.