The threat is always growing as synthetic drugs replace traditional ones, officials say
Synthetic drugs are replacing traditional narcotics for smugglers, officials said, and the UAE is keeping pace with the world in the manufacture and distribution of narcotics.
The country’s police and security services have successfully thwarted traditional methods of drug trafficking, including hiding them in humans and animals or smuggling them along with merchandise. Now, traffickers are finding ways to develop new methods, such as smuggling synthetic drugs.
Senior police officials said that the cooperation and coordination between the relevant authorities in the country has paid off and helped to combat such methods of trafficking through ports.
Colonel Adel Ahmad Al Mazmi, Acting Head of the Sharjah Police Criminal Laboratory, told harrij times The country’s security agencies are working hard to detect the new smuggling method.
New Synthetic Drugs
In Sharjah, the police criminal laboratory has discovered two new synthetic drugs being smuggled in cosmetic packaging.
Recent research by the Sharjah Police team has also uncovered how the new drug is made.
Colonel Al Mazmi explained that this achievement is the result of the efforts of the analytical team to conduct experiments and research practices using the latest scientific and technological methods.
The new drug is made in a lab and has effects similar to the active substances in natural marijuana. Authorities are putting them on drug lists so they can be criminalized.
He noted that certain eye drops, used to dilate the pupils, were misused as a substitute for the heroin compound.
Dr Taj Al Sir Abbas Ahmed, a chemistry expert at the Sharjah Forensic Laboratory, has confirmed that two new synthetic drugs discovered by the laboratory pose a more dangerous threat to society. Its efficacy is 80-100 times higher than that of natural cannabis.
“These drugs may cause delusions in users for a short period of time. This time point is risky because they may increase the dose to make the effect last longer, which could lead to death,” he added.
Aisha Al Tunaiji, head of the laboratory’s criminal chemistry unit, said the top drugs seized in the country included narcotic tablets, powders, liquids and herbal materials.
Recently discovered synthetic cannabinoids and other synthetic drugs can cause serious health problems, including high heart rate and high blood pressure, red eyes, anxiety and agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, convulsions and memory loss, she said.
Authorities in the country have become stricter in curbing illegal substances in the country, a senior official in the anti-narcotics department of the Dubai Police said.
The UAE is actively involved in international and regional efforts to reduce the spread of drugs and prevent smuggling attempts. International drug gangs target the UAE because of its strategic location and high personal income.
“Young people are the ones who turn to these synthetic drugs, which even include prescription drugs sold legally in pharmacies. Their availability and low price compared to other drugs make such drugs an easy choice,” he said .
In some cases, psychiatric clinics have broken the law by promoting the use of narcotics. “They disregarded professional ethics and provided drugs to addicted teens.”
Parents and schools can help control the spread of synthetic drugs, the official said. Eliminating and preventing the dangers of substance abuse requires a coordinated effort by parents, schools, members of society and security authorities.
“Spreading awareness among students and their parents will reduce demand and this will also affect the market for drug dealers,” he said, adding that extensive efforts are being made by the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the country’s educational institutions.
“All anti-narcotics departments in the country are considered as an integrated system with strategic objectives. We deal with the drug problem as a single entity and there is great cooperation between us,” he emphasized.
The Department of Evidence examined 103 e-cigarettes seized in the country and found 17 of them were used to vape drugs.
The study suggests that mixed drugs, including synthetic marijuana in liquid form called “spice,” are being used by teens who vape.
“The danger of this trend is that e-cigarettes are more socially acceptable than traditional cigarettes. Its users vape in commercial centres, at home and even at work because people perceive e-cigarettes as harmless and a way to quit smoking,” an official said.
The official called for stricter measures to prevent the circulation of e-cigarettes online or through commercial centers.