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New addiction rehab centre for youth announced as Kingdom records steep rise in drug cases

Police maintain ‘Kingdom remains corridor rather than destination’

By Maram Kayed - Dec 26,2018 - Last updated at Dec 26,2018

AMMAN  — The number of narcotics-related cases in Jordan have increased by 42 per cent in the last two years, the Anti-Narcotics Department (AND) reported, as it announced the opening of a new specialised juvenile rehab centre for addiction. 

Drug busts also increased by 30 per cent in 2018 to reach 18,000 cases, compared with 13,000 in 2017, according to a report realeased by the AND.

Public Security Department assistant for judicial affairs, Mohammed Malaheem, however, maintained that Jordan “remains a corridor, rather than a destination for major drug dealers”.

“Almost 95 per cent of these cases involved drugs being transported to neighbouring countries through Jordan, rather than for distribution in the country,” he was quoted as saying in the report.

When it comes to the sale and use of illegal drugs inside the Kingdom, the age group that recorded the highest rate was 18-27, constituting 47 per cent of all cases.

“One of the most effective solutions to ending the drug trade is not cutting off the supply, but lowering the demand. So if we want to put an end to drugs in Jordan, we should work on rehabilitating the group that creates the highest demand — in this case, youth,” AND Spokesperson Anas Tantawi said.

The AND’s planned rehab centre will focus on helping the segment of society most in need of addiction therapy, according to the report, which is those below 18 years of age. 

In further remarks to The Jordan Times, Director of the Treatment Centre for Addicts Fawzi Masaeed said that “the centre is seeing more and more young people, having received more than 2,000 patients this year alone of all ages. So, a new centre will allow us to direct more of our attention to patients’ needs, especially youth”.

The existing centres already take in underage patients, but the new institution will be dedicated to them alone, the AND stated.

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