Kuwait has been waging a fierce war against drugs, hallucinogenic pills and prohibited stimulants for some time now, until it became a worrying phenomenon because drug addiction has spread faster than predicted in the society, exacerbated by its association with horrific murders and violent altercations, in light of frequent reports confirming that Kuwait and other Gulf countries are subjected to organized campaigns to target their youth.
A local Arabic daily quoting informed sources said drugs mafia continue to flourish in their destructive trade inside the country, at a time when the concerned authorities work round the clock to get the youth out of this vicious cycle, rehabilitate and integrate them into society as productive elements. Unfortunately the facilities are few and there is only one specialized hospital for the treatment of addiction, which is under pressure at all times due to shortage of medical staff.
For example, Kuwait’s youth and adolescents face very harsh conditions, which push some of them to the environment of addiction for many reasons, including the parents’ preoccupation with their upbringing, the lack of religious and moral convictions, the lack of awareness expected from the ministries of Education, Endowments, Interior and Information. The country’s lack of a suitable recreational and tourist environment for recreation and spending time with good company pushes the young people into the sea of abuse and related violent crimes, some of which end up in taking lives.
The means to get out of the addiction cycle seem difficult at present, despite the efforts made by the state. Kuwait does not have a specialized medical center to treat the increasing cases of addiction, given the fact that there is a single governmental hospital that provides integrated services, the Psychiatric Hospital, which was opened in 1953 and they changed its name to the Kuwait Center for Mental Health, along with a very small number of hospitals in the field, which do not have the necessary capabilities, and limited private centers that are satisfied with providing consultations.
There are no official statistics confirming the annual cost of effectively treating the addict in addiction treatment centers in the country, but medical sources suggested that the cost would reach 150 thousand dinars. She explained that the addict’s access to effective treatment, is often difficult to obtain, for parents and people who are drug users, so some individuals try to obtain appropriate treatment for many years, and move from one treatment program to another, and from one center to another, and prices vary between centers, and in the end, they are not less The cost is about 150 thousand dinars annually.
Over the years of working in the field of combating narcotics and psychotropic substances and treating addicts, it was clear that all these efforts were in vain, as the addicts treatment center in the hospital failed to remedy the issue, due to logistical reasons related to the shortage of its medical staff and its reliance on traditional technology to treat the destructive effects of addiction and the lack of solutions to rehabilitate them within the community.
Also, the government agencies concerned with preventing the spread of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, which death dealers have exploited through the sea, land and air ports, have not succeeded so far, despite the remarkable efforts made by the security services and “customs”, which requires the need to change the style of control treatment to keep pace with this malicious phenomenon that affected the entire world.
Despite the lack of psychiatric and addiction treatment hospitals in the country, it faces a major challenge that lies in the lack of specialized medical staff, compared to the known and approved international standards, which indicate, for example, that for every 100,000 citizens 9 doctors treat them and follow up on their cases. As for Kuwait, the situation is as follows — three doctors for every 100,000 psychiatric patients; 20 psychiatric beds for every 10,000 patients and one nurse for every 10,000 psychiatric patients
Eliminating the scourge of narcotics and psychotropic substances and their addiction, which is rampant in the country from which society is greatly harmed, requires government seriousness of a special style, to extricate Kuwait’s youth, who represent its current and future human capital, from the deep pit of loss except with their arms and their health and the vigilance of their awareness and conscience.
The Kuwaiti civil society is known for its generosity and active contribution to the construction of hospitals and specialized health centers, distributed in various regions of the country, including hospitals and centers for the treatment of diseases of the heart, kidneys, eyes, children, ear, throat and others. But it seems remarkable, the reluctance of civil society to help psychiatry and contribute to its development programs.