Last year’s total lockdown between mid-March and the end of May led to drug-related cases falling by about a third, while drug use amongst youngsters is on the rise, it emerged on Wednesday.
Ykan (drug squad) chief Michalis Katsounotos shared various data and spoke about the trends which his unit has observed over the last two years – most notably that drug cases fell by 29.90 per cent during last year’s total lockdown.
The fall was mainly due to the fact that airports and other modes of transportation and methods of importing drugs to the island were sealed off during the lockdown.
This trend appears to have spilled over into 2021, as he noted that in the first three months of this year drug cases have decreased by 18.11 per cent compared to the previous year.
Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, Katsounotos said that during the final three months of last year there were 276 drug-related cases while so far this year there are 50 fewer such incidents.
Conversely however, ‘serious’ drug cases have increased by 27.77 per cent in 2021, with 18 such cases recorded this year compared to 13 in the first three months of 2020.
So far, he said, 30 kilos of cannabis, 45 kilos of cannabis plants, two kilos of methamphetamines and other smaller amounts of various drugs have been seized.
Katsounotos also said that drug use – primarily cannabis – is on the rise amongst the 15-16-year-olds.
Cannabis leads the way in drug use in Cyprus, followed by cocaine, the most popular stimulant, but methamphetamines and synthetic drugs are gaining ground, Katsounotos said.