Concern grows over online drug sales

Photo shows blotter paper that is used in the process of consuming lysergic acid diethylamide or LSD.Collected

Nowadays, various types of traditional and non-traditional drugs are sold online with drug dealers and addicts also using multiple social media platforms. The transaction is also completed through online banking. In addition, narcotics are also sold on the dark web and drug dealers conduct transactions with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

The Department of Narcotics Control revealed this in its annual report for 2023. The agency said in its review that communication has become much easier across the globe because of technology. As a result, the global drug market is expanding as much as new narcotics are spread in various corners of the world, thus, causing a new concern.

In this context, Wednesday marks the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The theme of the day this year is “The evidence is clear: invest in prevention.”

Along with traditional drugs, many non-traditional narcotics have spread out in the country. It has been seen recently that many people become addicted to various non-traditional drugs after going abroad, and they are working to spread these in the country. Even some of them are making drugs and spreading those after returning home.

DNC deputy director (preventive education) Md. Manjurul Islam told Prothom Alo, that various non-traditional narcotics including LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), DOB (brolamfetamine or bromo-DMA), ketamine and magic mushrooms have been seized recently in the country. These narcotics are coming from developed countries including countries from Europe and America.

This DNC official further said some of the students who went abroad to study also become addicted to various non-traditional drugs, and many of them send narcotics to their addicted friends from foreign countries by courier service.

Growing concern over ice

The DNC annual report revealed that the arrival of a huge amount of ice in the country has become a matter of grave concern lately. Ice is the main element in manufacturing yaba and is more dangerous than yaba.

Drug smuggling gangs have been smuggling ice into the country from Myanmar since 2020. Gangs that smuggle yaba are also bringing ice on the same routes.

According to the DNC sources, the seizure of ice has been on the rise in the past couple of years with about 37 kg of ice being recovered in 2021, some 113 kg in 2022 and 187 kg in 2023.

On the other hand, the seizure of yaba has dropped with about 45.87 million pieces of yaba tablets being recovered in 2022 and about 43 million pieces in 2023. However, the recovery of heroin nearly doubled to 701 kg in 2023 from 338 kg in 2022.

Regarding this, Md Omar Faruk, professor of criminology and police science at Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University in Tangail, told Prothom Alo non-traditional drugs are spreading in the country in various ways.

He pointed out that the measures and strategies taken by the relevant law enforcement agencies to prevent this expansion are not correct.

Sources and routes of narcotics and names of people involved in drugs are not coming into the investigation either, he stated.