Report by Nasser Qudaih
KUWAIT, June 25 (KUNA) -- Kuwait is keen on developing strategies of combating drugs and other psychotropic substances in cooperation with all concerned bodies, either locally or internationally, in a bid to limit the spread of this scourge in society.
The Ministry of Health is working relentlessly on the matter by offering help to addicts willing to quit through treatment programs involving psychological and physical rehabilitation stages.
The United Nations' International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is observed annually on June 26 since 1989.
In Kuwait, the Addiction Treatment Center, affiliated with the Ministry of Health, indicated in an official statistic that the number of addicts hit 8,088, including 189 females with ages ranging between 15-36 years, including 137 Kuwaiti female for the year 2017.
The Center handles 7,400 cases of which, including 688 newly admitted ones.
Director of the Center, Dr. Adel Al-Zayed said in remarks to KUNA on Monday that the Center succeeded in fulfilling its programs and approved plans by the Ministry.
A large number of male drugs addict are now fully recovered according to the latest statistics, compared to the first five months of 2017 and 2018, he said.
The number of new addicts registering in the Center dropped by 38 cases after being at 291 cases during the first five months of 2017, he added.
On the other hand, the statistics showed a slight increase of non-Kuwaiti female addict cases; 17, in comparison to male addicts' rate that was decreasing, he noted.
The rate of Kuwait female addicts was higher of that for non-Kuwaitis, as a total of 62 cases were admitted.
The Kuwaiti government is footing a significant budget to combating drug addiction, as well as treatment and awareness programs, he affirmed.
According to Al-Zayed, female addict usually start by the age 15 in Kuwait, warning from the spread of drugs within schools as being target market for dealers.
The Center treats the ones joining as "patients not criminals," he stressed, noting that quitting addiction is achieved through willpower.
On her part, head of social services at the Center Hanadi Ashkanani told KUNA that the facility has a 350-bed capacity for first timers, in addition to 200 beds more for advanced rehabilitation stages, including 25 beds for women for each treatment stage.
This Center is the only one in the Middle East that includes treatment for all addiction stages, she affirmed. (end) ndq.tb.lb