From January to May 2015, the Saudi authorities executed 84 people accused of drug smuggling. Those people were beheaded without charge and trial directly at the place of detention. One of beheadings of the Muslim woman, who came to the country from Burma and allegedly concerned with the drug trade, was carried out on the streets of Mecca. Woman detained by law enforcement agencies shouted that she did not kill anyone until the policeman did manage to cut through her neck from third attempt in the eyes of passers-by.
The situation was exacerbated in March 2015, when Saudi Arabia has declared war on the militant group from Yemen “Huthis” and began to bomb the territory of a neighboring state. Military actions had decreased the quality of border control and combating drug trafficking. According to the Ministry of Interior Affairs, from March to July 2015, the volume of smuggled hashish intercepted along the southern border decreased by 75%, as for amphetamines – by 95%. However, Yemeni traffickers show great ingeniury in finding alternative ways. Lately, they started to deliver hashish and Captagon to Saudi Arabia by means of drones.
However, the struggle against external threat do not solve the problem of increasing drug addiction among Saudis: according to the National Commission for Drug Control, in 2014, foreigners have provided only 22% of drug smuggling. Import of drugs into the country is actively assisted by citizens of the Kingdom, especially young people. This is due to high unemployment among young people - two-thirds of the country's people under the age of 30 years (approximately 20 million people) and every third inhabitant of the country, which is between 16 and 29 years is unemployed (29%).
According to the Pew Research Centre, in the next decade, the Saudi authorities have to create nearly 2 million jobs to solve this problem. However, oil prices fallen as twice, which is country's main export commodity, high social expenditures, buildup of military forces and warfighting have eaten gold reserves of the country and limited the government's economic policies. Nevertheless, while there is high unemployment rate, drug trafficking will prosper in the country. According to the Saudi psychologists and sociologists, another reason for drug use is often a lack of physical activity, attempts to self-treatment of depression and simply boredom.
In Saudi Arabia, drugs can be classified in the following order according to popularity and consumption: Captagon, hashish, khat, heroin, amphetamines, opium and cocaine. In Islam it is forbidden to poison mind and body, but the most popular drugs in the Kingdom are not referred narcotic substances: Captagon ("Rush") is a pill that Saudis administrate as a stimulant, as for hashish ("hash"), it is smoked like cigarettes by majority. The fact that tobacco is also a drug has been forgotten in the world long time ago.
According to the majority of Saudis, you can’t develop addiction out of Captagon or hashish. However, the statistics of drug seizures suggests otherwise. Each year the volume of narcotic substances coming into the country is growing. Moreover, the most popular drug is considered to be hashish - an average of 18% per year.
In 2014, the World League "Mind Free of Drugs" launched the project "The world needs you!", which purpose is to help drug addicts in Arab countries to receive a treatment and consequently set an example for other by showing the harm of drug use. In Saudi Arabia, as in most states in the Middle East, it is not common to publicly discuss the problem of drug addiction, as drug users are stigmatized and risk to have harsh punishment. But the participants of the charity action "The world needs you!" showed courage, opened the face and told their stories.
It is symbolic that Saudi Arabia is the first country where the charity program of the World League began. Tamer Mohammed Abdullah R. arrived at the Medical Center of Dr. Nazaraliev (Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic) for the rehabilitation. His story is typical for Saudi Arabia: Captagon, hashish and unemployment.
Up until now, the Saudi authorities did not disclose the exact number of drug addicts. However, according to statistics from the rehabilitation centers in Riyadh and Jeddah, in the beginning of the 2000s the number of patients amounted to 10 thousand people a year, but today it is more than 50 thousand patients annually and this number continues to grow.
Each month, Medical Center of Dr. Nazaraliev (MCN) receives patients from Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern states suffering from addiction from Captagon, hashish, heroin and other drugs. Generally, these people have been treated at local clinics, but eventually broke down and relapsed.
According to internal statistics, 87.5% of MCN patients stood out for the first year after treatment and did not return to drugs. Our doctors not only successfully arrest cravings for drugs, but also provide psychological and social rehabilitation of patients.
For patients from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries special treatment is available, consistent with Shariah.
Feel free to contact us regarding any further questions and for free consultation.