War conditions facilitate drug trade in northeastern Syria

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25-03-2014

 

ARA News

Qamishli, Syria– The drug phenomenon has reportedly spread in northeastern Syria due to the persistent crisis and the absence of the role of security forces. Young drug users are given more space in the area amid lack of observation by any concerned authorities.  

According to a drug dealer and user from Amude city, who accepted to talk to ARA News on the condition of keeping his identity unrevealed, trading with drugs in northeastern Syria was always carried out “in coordination with unknown government entities”.

The source spoke out of personal experience as his father used to cultivate cannabis and opium in his private farms in northeastern Syria and allegedly dealt with government entities. 

“Due to the absence of state security forces, drugs are being cultivated in northeastern Syria prevalently in many farms and private gardens. There are also vast networks of drug smugglers and dealer who currently have to deal with the existing authorities which carry out raids on the farms only when there are disputes between them and the farmers or the dealers,” he said. “A portion of the drug production is sold locally, while most of it is smuggled to Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq to score higher benefits.” 

In this regard, Ahmad Saeed, medical doctor and psychologic guide, told ARA News: “Drug dealers target teenagers because it is easy to manipulate them in such a sensitive age. It starts with taking narcotic pills to develop to inhaling and injections.” 

“The majority of local drug users suffer from some family or emotional problems, and most of them belong to the poor class who are being afterwards used for drug dealing as most of them are not able to afford buying the drugs when they become addicted,” Saeed stated. “Meanwhile, the recovery from addiction is only possible in hospitals, which requires a relatively long time. Most of the drug addicts are males aged 15-25.” 

Lawyer Ahmad Nassir commented on the growing phenomenon of using drugs in Syria’s northeastern areas, saying: “So far, there are no strict laws to limit the drug phenomenon due to the lack of information about the drug dealers and their connections with unknown government entities, while the punishment would be serving one year in prison in the worst case.” 

“There haven’t been any practical steps to limit this drug phenomenon at the moment and is being used politically as the parties in conflict keep accusing each others of dealing with drugs,” Nassir told ARA News

While dealing with drugs is one of the most profitable businesses in war times, there are no accurate statistics of the number of drug addicts and drug dealers in Syria and Hasaka province (northeast), and there are no centers for rehabilitating drug addicts or any means of educating them about the dangers of using drug. 

 

Reporting by: Ivana Abdulhalim

Source: ARA News

 

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