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War on drugs should be waged until the end

Posted October. 10, 2022 08:02,   

Updated October. 10, 2022 08:02


As of August 2022, the number of drug offenders identified by the police reached 8,497, exceeding the total number in 2018 (8,107). Given that the arrest rate of drug offenders is only around 5-10 percent, the actual number of people involved in the drug trade is predicted to exceed at least 80,000. A college student received drugs from a foreigner at a children’s playground. Reports say that drugs can be easily found in nightclubs. Drugs have become more accessible to the public.

A growing number of office workers, soldiers, homemakers, etc. are accessing drugs, and the trend is growing, regardless of occupation, gender, or age. In 2018, first-time offenders accounted for 72.3 percent of total drug offenders in 2018. Still, the figure grew to 81.2 percent this year, showing that the ratio of new offenders is rapidly increasing. One-third of the offenders arrested this year came from young people in their teens and 20s. Over the past decade, the number of teenage drug offenders increased by eleven-fold, which is highly worrisome. In drugs, there is no such thing as a one-time trial.

Investigating these drug offense practices has become more challenging than ever, with drug trafficking taking a growing online presence. Buyers and sellers come in contact by Dark net or telegram and use cryptocurrency as payment to evade tracking from investigators. Dark net features drug sales’ brokering sites. The trading is down by hiding the drug for pick-up or by international mail, which makes it difficult to track down.

We need more investigative resources and adopt new investigative methods to deal with these trends. Public prosecution and police are aware of the gravity of the issue. “We have passed the critical point,” said Prosecutor General Lee Won-seok on Friday and announced that police would expand joint investigations with affiliated organizations.

The police arrested a renowned music composer for methamphetamine use during the investigative period that lasted from August to October. However, one-time investigation efforts are not enough.

Drug crime is one of the most difficult fields of crime investigation and requires dedicated efforts, which may not necessarily yield results. If we fail to curb the spread of drugs at this point, drugs might become prevalent in our daily lives.

Taeck-Dong Chang will71@donga.com