SINGAPORE – Illicit drug users are now turning to the Internet to attract new users.
Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean (pix) said that the issue of the “Dark Net” was a growing one.
“Global Drug Survey found that one in 10 drug users surveyed in 2015 had purchased drugs on the Internet at least once, double those surveyed in 2013,” he said during the opening address of the 5th Asean Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters here Thursday.
He added that the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates that there are over three million heroin users and five million methamphetamine users in East and South-East Asia.
Teo, who is also Coordinating Minister for National Security, said 22% of the world’s land area used for opium poppy cultivation came from the Golden Triangle.
“The region is also one of the largest and fastest growing methamphetamine markets in the world.
“Between 2009 and 2014, the quantity of methamphetamine seized in East and South-East Asia almost quadrupled to close to 50 tonnes,” he added.
He stressed that the harms of drug abuse was indisputable despite some countries having tried to normalise and decriminalise drugs.
“We must guard against this as the consequences are serious.
“The ostensible reason is for pain relief, but this can lead to heroin abuse to satisfy addiction,” he added.
He also called for Asean legislative measures to be updated to support law enforcement agencies fight against drugs. – The Star Online