By Elsa Baxter
250-bed facility to treat drug, alcohol addition will serve entire Islamic Middle East.
A $60m 250-bed drug and alcohol addiction treatment centre will be built in the Saudi Arabian capital city of Riyadh.
The facility will be set up in partnership with America’s second oldest alcohol and drug treatment provider Brighton Hospital, and will serve the “entire Islamic Middle East”, a statement by the health provider said on Thursday.
Over the past decade, the numbers of Saudis and Muslims in the Gulf who have become addicted to drugs and alcohol has tripled, Mohammed Al-Turaiki, CEO of Saudi Care for Rehabilitation and Health Care said.
"It has become a serious problem, and the demand for a facility like this to serve the Islamic world as a whole is very great,” he said.
Al-Turaiki said the partnership would build a further five satellite treatment facilities in the kingdom once the Riyadh centre is built.
Brighton Hospital is the largest US faith-based health system.
Design and construction of the tentatively named Saudi Care Brighton Hospital is expected to begin later this year.
It will have 230 general inpatient beds, 20 intensive care beds and an emergency department, the statement said.
This is truly a great venture where you can see a very special and urgent need is being addressed where a certain section of our community suffers from the terrible addiction of drugs and alcohol. When this kind of help and support is made available to those in desperate need well then half the battle could be won for them on the way to recovery.
I am particularly pleased to hear the news and having been involved personally in the construction of 5 similar specialist units around Saudi Arabia, I would say that more of them around the better. In addition, I hope to see more research centres attached to these units also! Hal-Luke Savas MBA FCIM MBIFM ICIOB affCIBSE firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a case of double standards at its best. I thought having even having drugs in your system was illegal in most Islamic countries, especially in the GCC. Now they are building a care centre? What about all those 'criminals' who have been fined, jailed and deported from the region for having drugs? (Or is this only for 'locals'). As for alcohol, again I thought it was haram in Islam and in the region? I think the region is finally waking up to the fact that its citizens are actually human and make mistakes and live semi-normal lives. This project is a very good idea.