Illicit Drug Use Rises In Kachin State Following Coup

Three male youths overdosed on heroin in a village established in 2014 by civilians fleeing conflict between the military and the Kachin Independence Army in Myitkyina Township.

“Drug dealers sell openly and addicts can use it freely in the area. In Ngwe Pyaw Sanpya, there are also many thieves (who steal because of their addiction). People from other villages come here to use heroin and the police do nothing about it,” a local told KNG. He said crime has increased since drug use became common in the village 13 miles from Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State.

According to locals, two 20-year-olds and a 30-year-old died of overdoses this week where drugs can be bought for as little as 500 kyat (28 cents). Before the coup, police were arresting dealers and drug users, but now they’re doing nothing, even though some residents have complained about the problem.

One woman told KNG that some dealers who were released from prison have returned to Ngwe Pyaw Sanpya to resume their drug trade. “That’s why the situation here has worsened. No one is taking action against these people.”

And this isn’t only true for the village, locals say. Since the military took over, the drug problem has increased across Kachin State.

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