Drug peddlers make use of exams to sell narcotics to students
JEDDAH: Drug dealers are taking advantage of school exam times to sell narcotics such as Captagon tablets to students, claiming the drug would help them stay awake at night to prepare for their examinations.
A substantial number of students often become victims of drug pushers without realizing what the consequences of taking drugs are. Captagon leads to other types of drugs such as hashish and heroin, eventually turning users into drug addicts. Captagon abusers go through an endless whirl of adverse side effects once they get hooked. “Users usually experience a lack of appetite, insomnia, nightmares, hallucinations and fast heartbeats. Their attitude also changes and they become paranoid and warm-blooded. They may even indulge in criminal activities,” said psychiatrist Dr. Muhammad Ayman Erksousi.
Smugglers and traffickers often try smuggling large amounts of Captagon pills into the Kingdom during exam times. The Interior Ministry seized 8.3 million tablets with a street value of SR292 million in one attempt last December. The pills were hidden inside tires loaded on to a truck.
Customs officers at the northern border point of Hudaitha seized 1.021 million tablets within the last 24 hours, said the Interior Ministry. Smugglers had hidden one million tablets in bags on a truck and 21,000 tablets in a gas cylinder, said Zaayed bin Atallah Al-Zaayed, director of customs in Hudaitha.
Drug enforcement agencies in the southern border province of Jazan said they also recently foiled an attempt to smuggle 74 kg of hashish into the Kingdom. The region’s rugged mountains are a favorite passage for hashish smugglers. Taif police recently arrested two major drug pushers who were selling tablets to secondary and intermediate students. In another drugs bust in Riyadh, 109,580 Captagon tablets were seized from a gang. As a result, police have intensified their search for drug dealers around schools.
Mahfouz Al-Ghamdi, manager of Haroon Rasheed Model Intermediate School in Jeddah, said a lack of awareness pushes some students to take drugs during exam times. “We have noticed that those who take narcotic tablets suffer from stress and a lack of concentration. These tablets will have long standing impact on their health.”
Teacher Musnad Al-Johani said secondary school students are the main drug users. “They take pills to perform well in exams but they do not realize it is the beginning of their end,” he said. He urged schools and families to properly advise their children, adding that the media can also play a bigger role in protecting the public from drugs.
Parent Anwar Al-Bukhari said moms and dads should also play a bigger role in bringing up their children. “They have to put children in a good atmosphere, check who their friends are, what their ages are and give them proper advice to keep away from drug users,” he added.
P.K. Abdul Ghafour | Arab News
— With input from Muhammad Al-Majed
Tuesday 2 February 2010 (17 Safar 1431)