National Drug Agency (NDA) was established under the recent Drug Law passed by the Parliament in 2011. The main focus of the new law which also established a specialist Court is to move away from taking a punitive approach against “small scale” drug offences. The legislation makes provisions for the prevention of the use, peddling and trafficking of drugs and provides measures to motivate drug dependent persons to enroll in treatment and rehabilitation programs with a view to facilitate their reintegration into the community as responsible citizens and at the same time stipulating offences and punishments relating to the misuse of drugs and matters relating thereto. Among many objectives of the act is to endeavor to reduce the level of drug dependency; to identify those who are in the early stages of drug dependency and to assist them in obtaining measures which will enable them to overcome their dependency on drugs; to establish a mechanism for the rehabilitation of drug dependent persons, believing that drug dependent persons are not just criminals but those in need of rehabilitation as they have, through the use of drugs, developed a psychological or physical dependence upon the effect of those drugs; and to invest law enforcement agencies with special powers to reduce the number of drug dependent persons and to prevent trafficking on drugs in the Maldives.
The long term vision of NDA is to ensure a coordinated effort from all stakeholders in making Maldives a drug free nation. With the help of stakeholder agencies, NDA will create empowered communities directed by a professional work force comprised of members known for their intellect, integrity, experience and commitment to the common good. This planning process will result in a broadly supported, innovative, fiscally sound long-term plan. This process will also enable NDA to explore new and better means of providing effective treatment, rehabilitation and prevention programs and facilitating the resources in the most favorable way possible.