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Last updated: 10 April, 2007 - Published 18:10 GMT
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Sri Lanka 'controls' drug addiction
Taking drugs
Sri Lanka says dangerous drugs usage is currently under control
An anti-drug authority in Sri Lanka says that the usage of drugs has not been increased in recent years.

National Dangerous Drugs Control Board said the usage drastically increased since the introduction of open economic policies in 1977.

However, certain reports on a recent increase of drugs usage are not scientific, Acting Executive Director K Gamage told BBC Sandeshaya.

Fewer people around 30 years of age are thought to be addicted to dangerous drugs, according to the official.

Mahinda Chinthana

"Scientific research shows that less than 50,000 people are currently addicted," he told BBC's Elmo Fernando.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa pledged to employ a zero tolerance approach on alcohol usage and smoking.

 Scientific research shows that less than 50,000 people are currently addicted
NDDCB Executive Director, K Gamage

The official says the drugs usage is pretty much controlled but admits more work to be done.

"We are still far away from controlling soft drug usage such as smoking and drinking".

The Board expressed satisfaction that the special departments set up by the police and the customs working efficiently to eradicate the problem.

"But there are still many issues on the approach of local police stations and other local officials," K Gamage said.

Number of women using drugs, he said, is less that two percent and many of these are sexual workers.

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