At least 18 barangays in Ilocos Norte are drug-affected areas.
Regional Director Roberto Opena of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency identified these barangays as 1-San Lorenzo, 3-Nuestra Sra. E. Sto. Rosario, 21-San Pedro, 22-San Andres and 54-A Camanggaan, all of Laoag City; Paninaan (Bacarra); Gareta, Mabusag Sur, Mabusag Norte, Nagrebcan, Sta. Cruz and Napu,all of Badoc; Bago and Guerrero of Dingras; San Francisco and San Juan of San Nicolas; Barcelona of Solsona and Pansian of Pagudpud
Of these barangays, Opena said that barangays 1, Laoag City and Sta. Cruz, Badoc were tagged as hot spots for illegal drugs.
He stressed that mostly illegal drugs seized were shabu and marijuana. A suspected marijuana plantation in Vintar, Ilocos Norte allegedly operates during summer season but this report is yet to be verified.
Opena pointed out that drug personalities have already adapted various modus operandi in conducting their illegal drug activities, saying that minor children are now being utilized in their drug trade operations. This set-up is common in Muslim areas such as in the province of Pangasinan, he added.
He cited the activation of municipal and Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council in order to enhance the monitoring of drug related activities in their respective areas.