The age range falling prey to drug addiction in the Maldives has greatly grown in recent years, with children as young as eight years old falling victim to the addiction, a health ministry study has revealed.
Officials from the health ministry attended a legislative session on Wednesday morning to brief the People’s Majlis on the current drug situation in the Maldives.
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.
During the legislative session, Deputy Minister of Health Safiyya Mohamed Saeed stated that, while the typical age range for drug addiction victims is 17 to 68 years old, children far younger than that have been taking drugs.
She was particularly worried about the surge in drug use among youngsters, noting that while drug misuse is most frequent in teenagers aged 15 to 17, children as young as eight years old are becoming addicted to drugs.
The health ministry’s assessment also discovered that a significant number of youngsters, as well as expats, were involved in the distribution of drugs.
According to the study, not a single atoll in the Maldives is drug-free, and a wide range of drugs, including meth, are smuggled into the nation, some via courier service.
The health ministry study also showed that the number of nations and areas from which narcotics were trafficked into the Maldives has grown dramatically in recent years. According to the 2014 research, the majority of nations from which narcotics were smuggled into the Maldives were in South Asia, but the list now includes European countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.
During today’s session of the People’s Majlis, Minister of Health Ahmed Naseem remarked that one of the most serious issues confronting the country is drug addiction. However, he emphasized that professionals in the sector had no clue how to tackle the drug misuse problem.
But Naseem claimed that various studies are being conducted to properly investigate the country’s drug addiction issue.