The Korea Herald


Father reports son to police over drug use at home

Drug arrests reach record-high in 2022

By Park Jun-hee

Published : Jan. 30, 2023 - 15:08

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A father in northeastern Seoul turned his 27-year-old son in to the police as he created disturbance with scissors after using drugs at home, police said Monday.

According to Nowon police station, five needle syringes believed to have been used by the son were seized as investigators entered the house on Sunday evening. Police said they would decide whether to seek an arrest after investigating how he bought the drugs and the types of drugs he had used.

The case was revealed a day after data released on a threefold upsurge in drug-related offenses by young people in their teens and 20s in the past five years.

According to the Korean National Police Agency’s Detective Bureau at the National Office of Investigation, people in their 20s accounted for 33.9 percent or 4,203 of the overall cases, nearly triple the 1,392 in 2018. The number of teenage drug offenders also tripled, as 294 were arrested in 2022, compared to 104 in 2018. The number of drug arrests of people in their 30s was 2,817, compared to 1,764 in their 40s, 1,352 in their 50s and for those in their 60s the number was 1,829.

In total, a record 12,387 people were arrested last year, 1,761 more than in in 2021.

A total of 5,702 people were arrested during the police’s special control on drug crimes from August to December last year, with many of the arrests made at nightclubs and entertainment venues.

The special control is part of the chief of National Police Agency Yoon Hee-keun’s plan to eradicate drug-related crimes in the once touted “drug-free” nation.

The widespread use of social media has also made it easier for people to access drugs via the internet.

During the police’s crackdown to curb cyberspace crimes, 1,495 people were caught, a 39.5 percent increase from the same period in 2021. Among them, 533 were for drug trades made using hard-to-track technology channels, such as the dark web and cryptocurrency.

Against worsening drug-related crimes, the Ministry of Justice said it would bolster and expand drug education for minors by teaming up with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.

It also aims to raise awareness about the dangers of drug abuse by providing more lectures and increasing the number of drug experts, expressing concerns that the youth population is being more exposed to drugs.