Malé, Maldives – An assessment conducted by the Health Ministry shows that children are a large majority used in the drug trade as dealers.
In addition to this, the Ministry says that the age segment of drug users in the Maldives has increased drastically since 2014. In 2014 the average ages of drug users were between 22-37 years while the latest research shows that drug users fall between 17-68 in 2021.
A large number of children fall into substance addiction in the Maldives. While 15 to 17 is the age segment has the highest number, even children as young as 8 years old are victims of substance abuse addiction.Safiyya Mohamed, Deputy Minister, Health Ministry
Safiyya states that while drugs are prevalent in every part of the country, it is a problem that must be attended to immediately.
The recent assessment shows that a large number of children are also exploited for the drug trade. Migrant workers are also used in the drug trade.
Statistics also show that while more organic drugs were used in the previous years, the trend has changed with more chemical variants being used now. The sources of drugs have also expanded from South Asian countries to European countries like Netherlands and England.
Health Minister Ahmed Naseem admits that the government does not know how to solve the drug problem in the Maldives, however, stated that since there was never any proper research conducted on drug issues the Ministry is now addressing that. The most recent assessment was conducted as a means to solve the problems related to the National Drug Agency (NDA).