Close to 100 of the more than 500 patients admitted at St Giles Hospital between May 2017 to April 2018, were linked to substance abuse.
This was highlighted by the Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho while opening the United States Drug Enforcement Agency Workshop on Clandestine Labs.
Qiliho says that according to the health officials, the most common substance abused are marijuana, methamphetamine, cigarettes, kava and alcohol.
He says methamphetamine has made it to the list of the common substance abuse and that should ring alarm bells.
Qiliho says that they are also concerned about the reports of experimental drugs received and this training will largely be focused on clandestine labs.
Qiliho says 20 reports of seizures of experimental drugs have been received and while they have tested negative, it does however point to the fact that people are testing the waters.
He says that according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes 2018 World Drug Report, there is a need for the international community to step up its responses to cope with the expanding and diversifying range of drugs and drug markets.
Qiliho adds that the report further states that the markets of cocaine and methamphetamine are extending beyond their usual regions while more new psycho-active substances are being synthesized and are available more than ever before.
He has also vowed to do more to keep another innocent life from falling victim to drug abuse and this why on the 1st of this month, Operation Cavuraka 4 launched throughout Fiji to address the increase in drug related offences.
Meanwhile, the Charge d’Affaires and Acting Ambassador of the US Embassy, Michael Goldman says that during the workshop they will be looking at intelligence, manufacturing and detection of drugs, how to investigate to build a case and how to do it all safely.
The 2 week long workshop is being facilitated by the US Drug Enforcement Agency Officials at the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service in Nasese.Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.