Oman drug addiction on the rise

Particular increase in drug use among school and college girls, Omani health ministry official says.

DRUG USE: The number of drug addicts in Oman has risen, officials say. (ITP Images)

DRUG USE: The number of drug addicts in Oman has risen, officials say. (ITP Images)

The number of drug addicts in Oman increased to 1,826 in 2008, according to Ministry of Health Undersecretary HE Dr Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al Saidi.

Al Sadi said there had been a particular increase in drug use among school and college girls, during his presidential address at the launching ceremony of the ‘life-without-drug card’ at Muscat City Centre, the Oman Tribune reported on Thursday.

He said: “The drug addiction can be cured through right treatment and the ministry has taken appropriate steps to supply all kinds of medicines for those seeking the treatment.”

Out of the 1,826 addicts, 1,345 were registered in the Ibn Sina Hospital records. But Al Saidi said there were more addicts than were registered with the ministry or other official centres.

He added that it was important to see addicts as ‘victims’ and not ‘criminals’. “Those who come for the treatment will not be considered as criminals but as victims," he said. "Drug users are not criminals; the distributors are the real criminals.”

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