Rehab center in Jeddah sees six new women addicts each day

Kaaki said most drug addicts are married women, mostly between 15 and 21.

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The number of women addicts seeking treatment is on the rise with Al-Amal Hospital in Jeddah, a rehab center, reporting that an average of six new women addicts are seeking treatment at the hospital each day.

Psychiatric consultant and head of the women’s section at Al-Amal Hospital, Dr. Fatimah Kaaki, said the women’s section can accommodate only nine patients at a time. She said most addicts come to the hospital voluntarily.

Kaaki said most drug addicts are married women, mostly between 15 and 21.

"The youngest addict received in the hospital was a nine-year-old girl. Most addiction cases are those of hashish and stimulants," she said.

Kaaki pointed out that a lack of religious deterrent and family problems either due to the divorce or separation of parents or the death of one of the parents are the cause of many cases of addiction.

"Causes of addiction also include curiosity, low self-esteem, sexual exploitation, the wrong belief that a one-time puff of hashish will not lead to addiction and the lack of oversight of youngsters," she said.

Kaaki explained that when addicts arrive at the hospital, they are sorted according to their condition and emergency cases are referred to the emergency department, which is staffed by women doctors and specialists.

"Non-emergency cases are received by the receptionist who records the required information about the case, after which the case is referred to the nursing section so the patient’s file can be completed," she said.

Kaaki said preventing addiction among children is the responsibility of families and schools, as they represent the second most influential force on children.

"Children should be raised based on the teachings of Islam and should be encouraged to often attend mosques, and parents should watch out for any suspicious behavior by their children," she said while adding that drug education should be taught in the Kingdom’s schools.

This article was first published in Saudi Gazette on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014.

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