Around 3 million people in Egypt have grave drug abuse and dependence problems, according to National Addiction Research Programme (ARCP 2010) sponsored by the Egyptian government, results announced in 16 June 2010. The well-structured (randomized stratified sampling) and representative sample involved around 40 000 participants (38 608) from Cairo and 14 other governorates of Egypt. The results also showed that 37% of males and 13% of females are currently using drugs or alcohol . 93% of the users use Cannabis, 23% use alcohol and 26% use other drugs including opiates (heroin and others), sedatives and solvents i.e. around 15 Million Egyptians of the 85 million population are use psychoactive substances (drugs).

ARCP (2010) also indicates that that 2.8% percent of all Egyptians (estimated 2.4 Million people) have significant drug abuse/dependence problems. While another 7% (estimated 5.6 Million people) have some degree of abuse/regular use problems i.e. around 8 Million Egyptians have some degree of drug problems.

It is unlikely for individuals from lower socio-economic class to have resources to fund themselves through a recovery process in any available rehabilitation center. For the few who secure the funds to do that, the rate of relapse among subsidized and free of charge clients in rehabilitation centers is higher than that of their more well off peers. This may be a function of the lack of support from their communities as well as insufficient employment opportunities among other factors.

Therefore, immediate attention needs to be directed to address the drug abuse and addiction problems specifically among the poorest of the poor in Egypt. A holistic plan needs to be devised to aid drug dependent individuals from less privileged backgrounds in a journey from addiction to being integral and productive members of society.

[1] ARCP stand is that Alcohol is not an illegal drug but it is indeed a substance that causes psychoactive changes and from the scientific point of view it is a a substance of abuse “drug”.

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