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Bid to criminalize possession of Lyrica divides concerned authorities

Ministry facing a dilemma over scourge of drugs

KUWAIT CITY, March 26: The Ministry of the Interior is facing a real dilemma in dealing with the scourge of drugs in relation to the criminalization of certain medical drugs, such as Lyrica which has been particularly widespread among young people, reports Al-Rai daily.

Informed sources told the daily the ministry “failed for the third time, in a meeting with the competent authorities, which includes the Ministry of Health, the General Administration of Customs and the Ministry of Commerce, to convince the Ministry of Health to put Lyrica in the category of psychotropic substances punishable by law. The Ministry of Health just put it within the dangerous drugs in addition to not be given only by prescription, and this is not enough to reduce the spread and consumption.

The sources explained that “those who are caught in possession of Lyrica cannot be punished possessing this drug and that is where the problem lies. The sources revealed that the use of Lyrica as a drug was ranked third in the consumption topping alcohol, heroin and shabu according to a study conducted by Ministry of Interior.

Lyrica is prescribed as a treatment for epilepsy and neuropathic pain, but its misuse and use in large quantities cause hallucinations. Health sources explained that Lyrica has not yet been included internationally in the list of drugs under international control, the “Yellow List”, which is periodically prepared and updated by the International Narcotics Control Board.

It is also not included in the list of psychotropic substances under international control, the “Green List”. “The Ministry of Health is committed to what is issued by the international bodies in this regard, and as a member of the World Health Organization is committed to the guidance on the scheduling of substances subject to the United Nations Convention on Drugs 1961 and the United Nations Convention on Drugs with Psychological effect 1971, as well as the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Medicines 1988.

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