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Authorities dispute claims that 2.4% of school students take drugs

By Muath Freij , Petra - Mar 31,2015 - Last updated at Mar 31,2015

AMMAN — Authorities on Tuesday disputed figures cited by Jordan Anti-Drugs Society (JADS) President Musa Dawood claiming that 2.4 per cent of school students in Jordan take drugs.

Education Ministry Spokesperson Walid Jallad said the figures cited by JADS are inaccurate, noting that any study conducted in public schools is reviewed by the concerned authorities, which follow up on its findings and recommendations, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Citing a study by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, which he said covered 2,470 students between the ages of 11 and 16 at public schools around Jordan, Dawood said 2.3 per cent of school students consume alcohol.

Jallad said the Anti-Narcotics Department (AND), the ministry’s main partner in this domain, confirmed that no such study has been conducted in public schools.

The Education Ministry, he added, prepares an annual plan to protect school students from drugs and psychotropic substances in coordination with several concerned agencies, including AND.

Noting that no disciplinary council has been held to look into cases of drug or alcohol abuse by students, Jallad said the ministry reserves the right to take the proper legal measures over the erroneous report.

Public Security Department Spokesperson Maj. Amer Sartawi also told Petra that the numbers are inaccurate, noting that the PSD is the sole authority responsible for releasing studies and figures on drug abuse.

The PSD recently warned people against buying drugs via social media or taking any medication unlicensed by the Jordan Food and Drug Administration and the Jordan Institution for Standards and Metrology.

Last year, the Anti-Narcotics Department said it dealt with 7,713 cases involving illegal narcotics, including 712 cases of drug trafficking, between May 2013 and May 2014.

A total of 10,792 individuals were arrested during that period, 1,296 of them non-Jordanians.

Illegal narcotics seized during the same period comprised 664 kilogrammes of hashish, 6,719 kilos of marijuana, 2,466,918 Captagon pills, 331 kilos of cocaine, 219 kilos of heroin, 24 kilos of opium and 43,107,011 other illegal drug pills.

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