'Joker' drug-users down by more than half in 2017


Published: 2017-08-30 02:47

Last Updated: 2024-05-23 09:57

Joker is the local name given to synthetic cannabis
Joker is the local name given to synthetic cannabis

The percentage of drug users taking the popular drug ”Joker” in Jordan has gone down to 62 percent in the first half of 2017, in comparison with the same period of last year, according to Anwar Tarawneh, Head of the Anti-Narcotics Department.

Tarawneh said that in 2016, legislation tackling the use of chemicals used in the making of the drug was amended under Article 23 of the Narcotics Act. He added that Joker dealers and users were severely punished under the amended Article.

The news was announced during a seminar held by the Friends of the Police Association on Tuesday evening.

Tarawneh said that awareness campaigns launched by the Anti-Narcotics Department and local charities were behind the significant decrease in Joker-users - cut by half - in comparison with last year.

More than 95 percent of the Joker quantities seized were intended for smuggling outside the Kingdom, according to Tarawneh, who stressed that “this doesn’t mean that there are no more drug-users, seeing as two rehabilitation centres were opened in Jordan: one by the Ministry of Health and the other by the Anti-Narcotics Department.”

Dr. Jamal Anani, Head of the National Center for the Treatment of Addicts, the rehab affiliated with the Ministry of Health, said that 90 percent of the 560 addicts who were treated at the centre were treated for addictions to legal drugs that can be purchased from pharmacies.

The real threat, according to Dr. Anani, is getting addicted to drugs that can be easily bought over the counter, especially that the level of addiction varies from one person to another.

Joker is the local name given to synthetic cannabis, which contains harmful and mostly poisonous chemical substances.