National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) says it has observed an alarming increase in the use of narcotics in the country as 67,900 people in total had been arrested in connection with narcotics-related offenses between January and October last year.
Speaking in this regard, NDDCB’s Director-General Bhadrani Senanayake said 52% of these arrestees had been apprehended for being in possession of heroin, while 37% of them were arrested for cannabis-related offenses.
Meanwhile, a total of 6,728 individuals had been taken into custody with methamphetamine (commonly known as ‘Ice’) during this eight-month period, she added.
When taking these figures into account, a substantial increase in the use and spread of heroin, cannabis and methamphetamine is observed in the country, the NDDCB’s Director-General explained.
Speaking further, Senanayake also shed light on the inadequacy of facilities to rehabilitate drug addicts.
She went on to note that despite there being at least 100,000 heroin addicts and 350,000 cannabis addicts in the country, only 4,000 of them turn up for treatments and rehabilitation annually.
Although there are both governmental and non-governmental organizations operating treatment and rehabilitation centers for drug addicts, the facilities at these establishments are inadequate, especially for female drug addicts, Senanayake commented further.