Abdulateef Alzubaidy/The Arab Center HR
In recent years, the phenomenon of the trade and abuse of drugs of various kinds has spread significantly in all provinces of Iraq in shade Government deficit to control this dangerous phenomenon, Which has greatly affected the Iraqi society, which suffers from social and security problems and crises, which was exacerbated by conflicts and political differences and the superiority of party interests. Until recently, Iraq was the cleanest country in the world in terms of drug abuse, addiction or trafficking, according to UN reports. But after the US occupation of Iraq in 2003, things turned upside down. Iraq became a conduit for drugs coming from producing countries. There are confirmed reports of drug cultivation, abuse, trafficking and spread among young people. Until recently, Iraq was the cleanest country in the world in terms of drug abuse, addiction or trafficking, according to UN reports. But after the US occupation of Iraq in 2003, things turned upside down, Where Iraq has become a conduit and transit of drugs coming from producing countries towards consumption with the reports of confirmed the cultivation of drugs, abuse, trafficking and spread among the youth.
One of the repercussions of the US occupation of Iraq in 2003 was that Iraq became a conduit for the smuggling of Iranian, Afghan and Pakistani drugs to the Gulf States, but it has become a drug-consuming country, Especially ” narcotic drugs that are now sold on the sidewalks, and there is a strong demand for abuse, and also promote many hidden aspects of strange drugs to the Iraqi society, most notably cannabis and cocaine, which exacerbated the incidence of addiction, especially among adolescents.
It is worth mentioning that the phenomenon of the spread of drugs is one of the most complex and dangerous phenomena on the human and society, This phenomenon is one of the problems of the era, and there is no doubt that the phenomenon of drug addiction began to occupy a prominent place in the interests of local and global public opinion, The danger of this phenomenon lies in its negative impact on the human resources of society directly and indirectly, especially young people of both sexes, and affects the resources of natural and human resources, which impede any efforts for the overall development of society. Therefore, the problem of drug abuse and addiction is one of the most serious social problems and has a strong impact on the progress of any society, and consume most of the energies of the individual and society and its potential, and is one of the most complex problems facing societies today, especially developing communities. The assessment of the negative effects of the use of narcotics on individuals and their reflection on our Iraqi society is a difficult task. The difficulty lies in the complete secrecy surrounding the circulation and handling of these materials, as well as the lack of statistics and follow-up in our Iraqi society.
And that the state of security chaos in Iraq after the year 2003 was the starting point for the aggravation and growth the phenomenon of drug abuse and trafficking in the country as well as the expansion of unemployment and the decline of employment opportunities for Iraqi youth. There have been reports of drug cultivation in the provinces that are experiencing security tension or control of militia factions including Diyala, Diwaniya, Basra and Kirkuk.
Iraqi officials say drug abuse is now concentrated in border areas with Iran and some holy cities in Iraq such as Karbala and Najaf, as well as in the Kurdistan region. Some believe that the social culture and traditions of Iraqi society play an important role in preventing the knowledge of the reality of drug abuse and addiction in Iraq. The drug trade has become popular in Iraq in an unprecedented manner and a major threat to Iraqi society, they are now cultivated, import, smuggling And abuse while the numbers of traders and drug dealers are increasing so that the talk about them is normal and easy to get. While many believe that the problem of the spread of drugs is the following after the ISIS period.
At a time of increasing voices from the warning of the seriousness of drugs in Iraqi society, whether in the Kurdistan region or areas of southern Iraq, There has been an increase in the number of abusers of young people until it became noticeable that security sources reveal from day to day about the arrest of drug dealers and the seizure of large quantities of narcotic pills or the so-called (Krestal), which is one of the dangerous drugs in the world, as well as the cultivation of poppy extracted Including opium being diverted to heroin, and other drugs.
Drugs are any plant or manufactured substance that contains hypnotic, sedative elements, which, if used for non-medical purposes, cause the body to be numb and paralyzed, paralyze the nervous system, the respiratory system and the circulatory system with chronic diseases, and lead to a state of habituation Or so-called “addiction” causing severe damage to mental health and physical.
Types of drugs
It is noteworthy that drugs, including what is natural AND industrial
The most common types of poppy are opium, cocaine, codeine, morphine and heroin, and also Cannabis Especially the flowers where they are extracted (marijuana), Cocaine plants from which cocaine is also produced are the most harmful forms of drugs, which are hallucinogenic, and (AL Qat) Is a class of narcotic substances that are cultivated in hot humid regions, especially in Yemen. There are banjo, which is cultivated in Egypt illegally and nicotine, a type of drug extracted from tobacco, which scientists consider one of the types of drugs that lead to addiction.
As for synthetic drugs, they include a variety of amphetamines, painkillers, hypnotics, tranquilizers, as well as industrial substances with odorous and volatile odors such as gasoline, paint and glue. The drug has been addicted to countless Iraqi youth in a phenomenon that has become popularly known as “Kabsala”, which is the main cause of murder, theft, assassination, suicide, rape and burning.
The most popular drug classifications are:
- Drugs produced directly from natural plants such as cannabis, Qat, opium plant.
2 – Drugs manufactured and extracted from the natural drug after being subjected to chemical processes turn it into another substances : such as morphine, heroin and cocaine.
3 – Compound drugs that made from Chemical agents and other compounds and have the same effect as narcotic, hypnotic and hallucinogenic substances.
How to addiction on drugs
There is a difference between drug addiction and habituation. Addiction is a case of periodic or chronic poisoning that harms the individual and society and results from repeated abuse of a natural or manufactured drug.
- Urgent or compelling desire to continue using the drug and to obtain it by any means.
- The tendency of the person to increase the dose continuously.
- Psychological and physical dependence in general on the effects of the drug.
- Harmful effect on the individual and society.
Drug habituation is defined as a case of recurrent drug use, which includes the following characteristics:
- Non-forced desire to continue drug abuse for the sense of comfort and recovery that the drug.
- There is little tendency to increase the dosage of drugs.
- Psychological dependence to a certain extent on the effect of the drug but no physical dependence and therefore no symptoms of abstinence from abuse.
- If the person abstains from taking the drug, the symptoms of the individual will not exceed some minor mental illnesses such as mood sag and a simple headache that can be easily overcome.
The academic studies expand on activating the conditions and effects of narcotic substances, and the problems they cause, such as the lack of the individual (the abusers) gradually, the ability to focus the mind, and the loss of control of the behavior and forced him to change consciousness of the environment so that he sees that things go differently and another rhythm.
Ways of entering drugs into Iraq
Recent reports by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) confirmed that there are two main corridors for the entry of drugs into Iraq, which have become an export warehouse used by the drug mafia, taking advantage of wide gaps in open and unguarded borders. Iranian and Afghan gangs use the first passageway across the eastern border linking Iraq with Iran, The drug smuggling mafia from the Central Asia region uses the second corridor to reach Eastern Europe, in addition to the sea lanes located on the Arabian Gulf, which links the Gulf States with each other.
Most of the drug traffickers in East Asia direct their goods towards Iraq and are shipped to the north, where Turkey, the Balkans and Eastern Europe, and to the south and west, where the Gulf States and North Africa.
Militant figures behind drug build up
The head of the security committee in the province of Baghdad, Mohammed al-Rubaie, said that the spread of drugs behind the figures of the militia, where he said: Did not mention the global proportions of Iraq in the sale of cannabis and drugs until 2003 because it was very few, Because the laws on drugs and cannabis Sentenced to death For those who deal and trade, The lesser sentence is imprisonment for seven years.
Laws after 2003 have not changed But Iraq has become an area for the entry of drugs and transit, that is, Iraq has become a crossing from the south-west of Iraq to outside Iraq, and after 2006, Iraq has become in the south specifically dealing with these drugs of all kinds for lack of alcohol and entertainment means and the absence of law and deterrent, and entered the money of some clans and influential And some of the militias, and the entry of Iraq into the whirlpool of quotas and corruption and became political conflict master of the masters of Iraq increased the proportion and reached Baghdad and became Iraq, the number one country that deals and trade and grow drugs in some parts of the country.
He noted that in 2017 After the state’s preoccupation with (ISIS) and terrorism, Drugs have become a source of funding for many corporate figures Which alleges partisan and alleges armed factions designated, They import, sell and plant them in Iraq because they have a lot of money today, drugs of all kinds, such as crystal, grass, and heroin, although a small percentage of them have intensified and stands behind militia figures. “In Baghdad, drug abuse began in some casinos and in arkila, sold and fled as tablets, and its trade is popular in the Batawin area, which is clearly visible and in Karrada and in the area of Camp Sarah and in a number of other places, It happened that the security agencies made several campaigns, but not deterrent and not strong.
That the security sources revealed the presence of large numbers of drug dealers in southern Iraq alone, citing the difficulty of controlling the problem, which belong to the beneficiaries of profits of millions of dollars annually.
The sources confirm that “the top of the pyramid in the drug trade throughout Iraq is in the city of Samawah, which is less than a thousand square kilometers, but it includes more than 600 drug dealers distribute their goods between domestic consumption and export to neighboring countries.
The judge and former MP Wael Abdul Latif said that in the province of Samawa, the smallest province of Iraq, more than 600 drug dealers, and they manage most of the trade of narcotic pills and cannabis, which is smuggled regularly from Afghanistan through Iran, and attributed the reason to (The loose border with Iran).
The former governor of Basra, Majid al-Nasrawi, has revealed the presence of a large number of drug dealers who manufacture and sell drugs in the province. He said that the security authorities have arrested 400 traders, noting that Basra, after it was a passage for narcotic substances, While Colonel Ali Muhsen al-Muhammadawi (director of the Criminal Investigation Directorate in Basra) confirmed that the members of his directorate arrested a drug dealer (Al-Kerstal) in Basra, nicknamed the ghost (Iranian nationality). His profits amount to 800 million dinars a day.
In Karbala, the recent years witnessed a significant activity of the drug trade through the visitors of Iranians under the pretext of visiting the holy shrines in Iraq through which direct trading of the narcotic drugs, and this activity was not limited to the trade of narcotic drugs, which became popular among young people and adolescents, according to statements of the Office of Drug Control in the province, But Surpassed them to promote drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Karbala police have arrested a number of Iranian people for drug trafficking And confiscated quantities of them were in possession, Raising concerns about the proliferation of drug traffickers from Iran to Iraq and Karbala in particular, in search of consumers after the growing economic and living problems left by economic sanctions imposed on Iran.
A security source revealed that local police forces in Basra found containers containing more than 18 million narcotic pills in November 2017, was on its way to Iraq, a quantity that “can narcotize the entire Iraqi people,” according to government sources.
Because drug trafficking is making a great profit for traffickers, so some have tried to plant narcotic plants after the drug market is rapidly accelerating their use and trafficking, and in response to the desire for profit and quick enrichment of some of the weak souls of farmers, landowners and owners of chemical laboratories.
According to a police official in Diyala, Diyala police thwarted an attempt to plant narcotic plants in the town of Qara Tabah and how to discover these plants. He said that the Iraqi police detachments concerned noticed the presence of some exotic and striking plants in one of the farms of the town. , Having confirmed its quality, the owner of the farm was arrested who admitted that he had tried to plant it in a small area, because he knows that the return is excellent and that by planting it saves itself the risk of smuggling and the cost of bringing it ready.
The police also discovered another small area in the province of Maysan cultivated poppy plants, and detect the border guards in Kurdistan every day a number of attempts to smuggle the seeds of poppy plant, cannabis plant and other narcotic plants, and that the plantations of secret poppy plant, It was found close to some US military bases after being evacuated in northern Baghdad.
Other plantations of hashish were found among Sugarcane and Corn Crops in southern Iraq. Some of them attributed the phenomenon of spread of drug cultivation to several things, foremost of which is the huge profits achieved by this type of agriculture, in addition to that these plants do not need much agricultural attention, they are plants resistant by nature, and can grow in the most difficult environmental conditions and climate. In addition, the high costs of agriculture in Iraq and the lifting of government support for farmers led to the transformation of some of them to the cultivation of such destructive crops, as compensation for some of what they lost, as well as the control of some armed militias on the drug farms for the huge profits it later uses for their interests, Some armed tribal conflicts in the southern provinces of Iraq, which result in the death and injury of dozens, indicate that the imports of narcotics or smuggled drugs are one of the main causes. Some of them attribute the reason to Iraq’s occurrence between drug-producing countries and consumers. The Open of the doors in the Iraqi borders to enter the drug and smuggling but also cultivated and manufactured, starting with hallucinogenic pills and the end of the poppy, Indian hemp, opium.
Categories of abuse and their social status
Youth constitute the vast majority of drug users and psychotropic substances, with 91.2% of those arrested. Approximately 38% of these youth belong to poor families, while the rest of them are distributed over families above the poverty line by slightly 57%, taking into account that most of the families of users are of a numerical density The number of family members increases to (5) individuals.
Field observations also showed that drug abusers were mostly low-educated, 87.1% of whom had primary education or less, while the educational levels of parents were lower than that of children, i.e., the abusers are often families with ignorance And illiteracy.
Most of the abusers live in poor areas within the centers of cities and districts. Two-thirds of drug abusers are under investigation, 67% are employed in self-employment, 23% are unemployed.
And that the majority of the families of users do not own a home of 65.4% and that many users suffer from a growing sense of loss and fear of the future, and the futility of their lives, and other psychological problems that may make them escape to drugs again if they had the opportunity to do so. It is noted that there are no specialized centers to treat drug addicts in many provinces of Iraq. At the same time, many of the provinces are witnessing a near total absence of specialists active in the treatment of these cases.
That the social culture and traditions of Iraqi society play an important role in preventing the knowledge of the reality of drug abuse and addiction in Iraq, as well as the lack of cultural awareness of most families, the lack of educational activities by the institutions responsible, and the failure of governments that came after 2003, This is a point that illustrates the huge failure in managing the affairs of the country, all of which lack access to the real number and accurate statistics of drug addicts, But there are some reports that revealed some figures. A report issued by the National Narcotics Control Board indicated that there were 7000 registered drug addicts in all governorates in 2004 and 28,000 addicts in 2006, according to the UN Office for Drugs and Crime. However, according to the World Health Organization The number is much higher because the health organization confirms that the government statistics published in each country only represent 10% of the real numbers and therefore this number is very large and scary if compared to the number of addicts before 2003, which is a small proportion due to crackdown on traffickers and promoters of narcotic drugs. It is the same report that confirmed that Iraq has become the main corridor of drug trafficking across the world. It is interesting to note here that the drug traffickers deliberately sold these toxins in the beginning at low prices to increase the demand for them, where a member of the National Anti-Narcotics Commission says:
«The first meal of drugs distributed in Baghdad for free as a kind of publicity and promotion while the current prices stabilized at 750 dinars, the price of a bar of The sedative pills containing 12 tablets One of which is sufficient to induce temporary rest and narcotize. “And the price rises with the increase in dosage and the difference in the type of the average dose taken by injection of cocaine or heroin up to 30 thousand dinars, while the price of the largest dose of the same materials 67 thousand dinars, but the material of Hashish is calculated in grams or sold as cigarettes after mixing with tobacco or put with the substance of melliferous used in arkila, which smoke in private cafes or houses. Abusers can obtain narcotics from their main source in the Bab al-Sharqi market or from individual traders who spread in a number of popular neighborhoods and distribute their goods through agents who do not attract attention. Often these are children or school students.
The serious increase in drug abuse and trafficking in Iraq is one of the social, health and security risks that threaten the future of Iraqi society and other Arab societies, Because it seems that the goal is not only to turn Iraq into a drug transit to the whole region and the world, but to destroy social construction by corrupting young people, destroying their minds and turning them into a source of destroy rather than a source of construction and development.
In no way can we deny the responsibility of the US occupation forces and their help from sectarian militias for the problems and disasters in Iraq, including the catastrophe of the spread of drugs.
According to reports of the Supreme National Authority to combat drugs, Baghdad, Babylon, Karbala, Muthanna and Qadissiya, comes in the forefront of the Iraqi provinces with the number of addicts.
A UNICEF report warned that the problem of drug addiction was becoming a growing phenomenon among children in Iraq, noting that the number of drug addicts among children was around 10%.
While revealing Ibn Rushd Hospital, the only hospital in Iraq to deal with cases of drug addiction to: the increasing numbers of patients after the US occupation of Iraq in 2003, noting that most drug abusers take narcotic drugs And medical drugs Such as those used to anesthetize patients in the operating rooms and to alleviate pain.
The incidence of addiction increased by 75%, and although the hospital was receiving many cases of drug addiction and hallucinogenic under the former regime, but the general situation of addiction has become more widespread from before, and the view of adolescents and children in the streets more terrible, especially as they The use of high-toxic, high-toxic narcotics such as benzene, thunner and others, and some of them, guided by two senior offenders, learn how to make other unfamiliar materials that give the same effect. While the abuse was at a 17-18 age limit, it now includes 14-year-olds and perhaps less. Of course, this is one of the consequences of the country becoming a crime mafia. In addition, Iraq’s first public market to promote drugs in Baghdad, specifically near Tahrir Square and the Batawin area, under of freedom and democracy that have been given to this corrupt trade is common strange. In a previous statement in which the Ministry of Health reported many deaths from drug abuse, most of them occurred in the province of Karbala, followed by the provinces of Maysan, Baghdad, Babil and Wasit.
Ways Elimination of drug abuse
The increase in psychological and social pressure suffered by members of society as a result of the state of security tension, wars and crises witnessed by Iraqi society, and the resulting feeling of fear and anxiety sometimes and despair and depression at other times all this led to the seriousness of drug abuse extends its negative impact to society, Drug users become unproductive and unable to earn an acceptable standard of living, and may threaten society with corruption and crime. Similarly, a society where drug abusers are falling, producing a weak economy, disintegrating and becoming a theater of problems and difficulties created by drug abusers. Hence, concerted efforts must be made to eliminate this dangerous and alien phenomenon on Iraqi society. The family plays the most important role in preserving their children from delinquent behavior and drug abuse. It is primarily the responsibility of raising children’s awareness and guiding them through sowing the seeds of self-confidence and making decisions based on good judgment and not being influenced by pressure exerted by bad friends for the purpose of subjecting them to drug abuse. The influence of the family was strong on the individual.
We also know the role of the school in educating and guiding young people in order to create a generation aware of the dangers of delinquency and impotence where the teacher comes as a second teacher after the father and mother and perhaps exceeds the influence of the school influence of the family what the teacher has influence on his student.
The media plays an important role in educating young people about the dangers of drug abuse and their enormous harm to society, the family and the individual. It also highlights the role of the media in reducing the negative stereotypes played by the drama, which caused the spread of this phenomenon.
Religious aspects play a “significant” role in the prohibition of any harm to the human being in his or her mind, religion or money, and therefore the use of these drugs is prohibited for the harm resulting from their abuse. The purposes affirmed by the heavenly laws are: the preservation of religion, self, supply, mind, and money. Since dealing with drugs is harmful to these necessities and purposes, the use of drugs and their addiction is taboo without question.
Civil society organizations that are interested in young people should make vigorous efforts to prepare programs that deal indirectly with the drug abuse of young people and to raise awareness of the dangers of this phenomenon, as well as to promote social values that reject such deviant behavior. (Federal government, local governments, security, judicial, religious, media, civil society organizations, clans, local communities, sociologists, psychologists, Education, development, and other disciplines).