‘Neiko drug’ on the rise - Solomon Star News

‘Neiko drug’ on the rise

21 February 2020
Mostyn Mangau.

Police say they are discussing with relevant authorities to try and address the legislative gaps involving the “Neiko Drug” or “Coupen” that is said to be on the rise in the country.

This followed reports of the drug being used by many young people especially students circulating on social media.

A woman said on social media that she informed police about the drug last year but nothing has been done.

Another person added he was told by the police that the drug was not termed as a drug under the law.

Acting Police Commissioner Mostyn Mangau said this drug composes of legal items and are manufactured locally.

“The drug is made out of toothpaste, tobacco, food colouring and lime powder,” he said.

“…..so there are discussions with relevant stakeholders to look at the drug called coupen because there are legislative issue or gaps that have been identified here,” he said. 

He said the gaps in the country’s legislation have held police back from taking any action and that police will need to engage with other stakeholders to make the legislative available for police to deal with it.

Mr. Mangau said they also need the expertise from other ministries to assist police on this. 

“Because at this point in time, the composition of this drug came out of lawful items that we normally have access to.

“If we look at, it has something to do with our legislators to look at putting provisions there to guide us in the use of coupen,” Mr. Mangau further added.

He said the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs and Ministry of Commerce plus a wide range of stakeholders need to address this issue.

When asked what steps police will take given that there was already a report of a young person who died as a result of using the coupen, Mr. Mangau said they have not received any formal complaint about the drug.

He, however, said it is worth reporting the matter to the police for investigation if it causes danger or risk in the community.

Mr. Mangau said that police can then communicate with other relevant stakeholders to address the issues.