Republica Daily, 26 June 2017
The number of people being arrested for possessing and smuggling of banned drugs is increasing day by day in Nepal.
Law enforcement agencies say drug abuse poses major threat to health and safety of the people and security as well.
According to the Home Ministry statistics, until the month of May this year, 1548 people including 77 Indians and four foreigners were arrested for possessing drugs. This figure was 2,656 in the year of 2015 and 3,696 in 2016. This figure does not include Indians.
This was stated in the ' Surakshit Jeevan (safe life)', a journal on drug control unveiled by the Ministry amidst a program organized here today to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking that is celebrated on June 26 every year.
The Journal which compiles the survey report on the hard drug users in Nepal until the 2069 BS shows that the number of hard drug users was on an increasing trend.
According to the report, hard drug users had significantly increased in the period of five years-- from 46,310 in 2063 BS to 91,534 in the year 2069 BS. This figure depicts that the average annual increase rate in the number of drug users is 11.36 per cent while the average age of the drug users is 27.07 years (minimum 13 and maximum 50 years).
On the occasion, Minister for Urban Development Prabhu Saha said the trend of drug abuse began with the development of society and only the efforts from the government level were not enough to control it.
He was of the view of controlling its production and transport, a global concern and challenge as well, so as to get an expected result in anti-drug use efforts.
Secretary at the Home Ministry Lok Darshan Regmi said drug abuse had triggered big tragedies in the world and the Ministry was using its strength to combat illegal trade of drugs and its use.
Ministry's Chief Drug Control Officer joint-secretary Kedar Neupane informed the program there are around 300 million drug users across the world and most of them are found living with various sorts of health-related problems.
The Ministry had in the fiscal year 2073-74 BS launched the 'destroy the marijuana cultivation' drive in 19 districts and around 10 thousand students and youths attended the awareness campaign against drug abuse.
Likewise, in the period from 2011 to 2016, a total of 15,493 people were jailed for drug abuse.
Prior to this, an awareness rally was held from Ratnapark via Asan, Jamal and Durbarmarg to Nepal Academy which was attended by the Home Ministry official, chiefs of Nepal of Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force and students.