At least 16 percent of the youth in urban centers are under the influence of drugs, Commissioner Anti-Narcotics Department Uganda Police has said.
“The statistics are based on the study carried out by the department and Makerere University,” Mr Tinka Zarugaba said.
According to him, the good fertile soil in Uganda favours the growing of cannabis both deliberately and accidentally, and there’s cannabis growing I almost every part of the country.
“Drug abuse- both hard drugs like cocaine, heroin and cannabis which are home grown- is on the rise, especially in the urban areas affecting the youth,” Mr Tinka said at the function where 48.22kgs of narcotic drug exhibits worth Shs778 million were burnt at the police barracks in Nsambya.
These included, heroin, mixture of heroin and cocaine, mixture of cocaine and methamphetamine and cannabis, among others.
He added that burnt exhibits were seized from suspected drug traffickers at Entebbe airport between 2019 and 2020. According to him, the suspects were prosecuted in court and cases concluded.
The function was presided over by Entebbe Chief Magistrate, Juliet Nakitende who participated in the burning of exhibits as it is provided in the law.
“’I am here to inform you that we were here in 2019 when we carried out the last burning. We did not have one in 2021 because of Covid-19 pandemic and today we are here to burn the drugs that were brought to court and the suspects prosecuted and sentenced,” she said.
The Director Criminal investigations, Mr Tom Magambo , in his speech read by Mr Tinka stressed that the effects of narcotic drugs abuse are enormous, among which include loss of life of the abuser, paralysis, committing of crimes like murder, rape and defilement.
Others who are school going, he said, have dropped out due to misuse of tuition to purchase drugs and addiction that incapacitate them.
“Our strategy as a Force is to among others enhance collaboration with all stakeholders in the fight against the vice of drug abuse and trafficking through continuous trainings, community sensitization and tracing, restraining the proceeds of crime and to ensure they are forfeit,” Mr Magambo said.