Children as young as ten years old are misusing drugs and seeking treatment for drug addiction in the Maldives, the National Drug Agency (NDA) said.
A health ministry study also discovered that the number of youngsters taking drugs in the Maldives has grown in recent years, including children as young as eight years old.
According to the health ministry, the age range of those becoming drug addicts has risen dramatically from 2014, when it spanned from 22 to 37 years old. However, by 2021, the age range of those affected by drug abuse has widened to include people aged 17 to 68.
The health ministry’s assessment also discovered that a significant number of youngsters, mostly aged 15 to 17, as well as expats, were involved in the distribution of drugs in the Maldives.
A media officer from the NDA told a local news source that the agency has noticed children as young as eight years old taking drugs.
But the Family and Child Protection Department stated that no incidents of eight-year-olds using drugs had been recorded based on its findings.
According to the NDA, five minors under the age of 18 who are seeking treatment for drug addiction are on the waiting list, with four already getting care.