Dealing in drugs and its use in a number of Kirkuk City’s neighbourhoods is widespread, and the security forces have launched an awareness campaign to reduce it.
The Kirkuk Police has started handing out pamphlets warning people of the dangers of the use of drugs and encouraging them to assist in finding drug users and dealers to be arrested.
Ghalib Ali al-Jibouri, an officer of the Kirkuk Police, told KirkukNow: “This campaign was launched after a large amount of narcotics was confiscated in the city. Next to raising awareness, its aim is also to visit the pharmacies [to warn them] not to sell such pills or only sell them with a doctor’s prescription.”
On 26 November, about 14.6 million tramadol (a prescription opioid medicine used as a painkiller) pills were confiscated in Kirkuk.
Ali al-Jibouri said that the neighbourhoods where drugs are being sold and used are 10 of the poor neighbourhoods and slums.
He added that they are closely monitoring those neighbourhoods to control the situation and eradicate the dealing and use of drugs.
In 2019 KirkukNow has learned that there was an increase in drug use in Kirkuk.
“Christal [Meth] in the city is very widespread; it is being used in large amounts and its price is very high. Most of the drug users are those who work in the cafés and drivers of inter-city roads.”
Ali al-Jibouri says that they have no statistics of drug-related arrests, “but the rate has gone up immensely.”
The Eradication of Narcotics Law, which was passed by the Iraqi parliament in 2017, stipulates that anyone who imports or produces narcotics will get the death sentence or life imprisonment.
And anyone who either carries, moves, buys, or uses narcotics, will be sentenced to life imprisonment and will get a fine of an amount between 10 and 30 million Iraqi dinars.
According to the authorities, in 2019 alone, 36 people have been arrested in Kirkuk for charges of selling or using narcotics.