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26th October 2016

Alcohol and drug addiction increases the risk of schizophrenia

A new study has shown that excessive intake of alcohol and drug addiction might seriously increases the risk of schizophrenia in later stages of life.

Researchers analyzed previous studies pertinent to the relationship between drug and alcohol abuse and chances of developing schizophrenia.

Researchers analyzed the data relevant to more than 3133968 persons, including about 204505 persons who abused drugs and some 21305 persons who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

The follow-up revealed that the diagnosis of drug use or excessive alcohol intake have increased the incidence of schizophrenia by about 5.2 times, compared with 3.4 times in the case of LSD abuse.

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25th October 2016

Addiction treatment techniques in Saudi Arabia are “special”, says a manager in “Al Amal” hospital

Suliman alzaidi, the director of social responsibility in Al Amal (hope) hospital for the treatment of addiction, stated on Monday that the rumors circulating in the media about the sneak of narcotics to patients are not true.

Alzaidi said to “tawasol” that the sneak of narcotics to the hospital is extremely hard due to various precaution measures. In case this truly happened, this can be considered a rare and unique case that only requires an increase in precautionary measures to keep the treatment ongoing.

He also stressed that the publication and circulation of such news are considered to tarnish hospital’s reputation. This will deprive addicts’ families of the advanced services benefits; while pointing out that the program offered by the hospital is one of the best on a international scale.

Alzaidy added that no other country in the world offers the same free addiction treatment, or the same comprehensive and progressive methods, that consider all the psychological, social and health aspects.

He pointed out that patients are not forcibly admitted into the hospital, it’s rather “the hospital’s reputation” that invites addict’s families to enroll them in the therapeutic program.

Alzaidi called on the media to investigate the accuracy and objectivity of their published news, stressing that tarnishing the hospital’s reputation with these rumors will deprive lots of patients of their treatments.

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24th October 2016

A new Emirates law changes the perspective on drug users

As of next December, the UAE will start the application of the decree with the federal law no.8 of the year 2016, by amending certain provisions of the federal law no.14 of the year 1995, regarding the fight against narcotics and psychotropic substances.

Lawyer Ali Al Mansouri told “Erem news”: 12 articles have been amended in the current law on the fight against narcotics and psychotropic substances. The new law now includes the reduction of the duration of imprisonment to start at 6 months, and the introduction of new sanctions such as community service and fines.

He pointed out that the new law gives the Attorney General the right to transfer the accused of drug crimes to treatment facilities without detaining them or establishing a criminal case against them if they can successfully complete their treatment programs, stressing that the law clearly states that those who return to addiction will be sentenced to at least 2 years of prison.

Al Mansouri added that the law avoids the issue of the use of some people to narcotic substances which are not included in the prohibited substances list. The law states that the possession or use of any narcotic or psychotropic substance or plant, other than those mentioned in the prohibited list, will be punishable by imprisonment for a period not exceeding a year.

Furthermore, he explained that the new law prohibited the establishment of a criminal case against the accused if his or her family, including second degree relatives, notified the drug treatment unit. This did not exist in the previous law.

The amendments also addressed the creation of specialized units in the treatment, care and rehabilitation of drug addicts, affiliated to the Ministry of Health and the Prevention of the community. They also included granting the status of law enforcement officers to certain employees of the ministry of health and Prevention of the community, the department of climate change and the environment, the staff of the Federal Customs Authority and customs departments.

Ali Al Mansouri added that the new law considers addiction a disease in need of treatment, which will contribute in an addict’s efforts to return to his community, without the need of a criminal case if the addict responded positively to his treatment.

He noted that the law will prevent certain negative impacts that affect the family and status of drug users for the first time, such as the loss of their job and their inability to support their innocent family members. He suggested that the law aims to punish every person involved in drug and psychotropic abuse. However, it aims at the same time to provide them with the right of treatment, by encouraging them and exempting them from legal liability.

Al Mansouri pointed out that the time spent in prison for the first time, until being transferred to the treatment facility can cause personal pressure and suffering to the convict, due to his separation from his family and the loss of his job. He also stressed that the new amendments are intended to serve the general interest of the society as well as the individual, and to provide a second chance for the addict to become an active and successful member of the society.

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23rd October 2016

Director of the Addiction Treatment Fund: 25% of Egyptian drug users are “women”

The director of the Fund of Drug Control and Addiction Treatment, Dr. Omar Othman, stated that there’s a big difference between drug users and drug addicts. He pointed out that the percentage of drug users in Egypt goes beyond the world ratio, to reach 10% of the population. As for the addicts, they accounted for 1.8% of Egyptians.

Othman added in his “Momken” talk show interview, broadcasted on the CBC channel, that there is a state of denial in most families about the addiction of their members. This is one of the most faced problems in the treatment process.

He also mentioned that 25% of Egyptian drug users are “females”, which is a very high percentage on a global scale. He indicated that drama plays a big and important role in consolidating values and principles in a community to solve this problem.

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22nd October 2016

"Drug Control" warns against an epilepsy drug that can cause addiction ... and perhaps suicide

The General Secretariat of the fight against drugs reported a drug used in the treatment of epilepsy as hazardous; it can indeed cause addiction and even suicide at a later stage.

The Secretariat mentioned the damage and dangers of the active substance "Xanax" claiming that these tablets are issued only in state Mental Health hospitals of the Kingdom, and under close medical supervision, to treat certain cases of epilepsy. These measures are due to the fear of addiction risk and the possibility of abuse in sexual assault.

On the other hand, the Secretariat stated that these psychotropic pills cause "the weakening of memory, lethargy and loss of ambition, in addition to stomach problems, addiction and the inability to stop use of these products which could lead to suicide."

"Xanax" is a prescription drug used for the treatment of a number of excessive anxiety disorders, such as disorder or generalized anxiety, agoraphobia (fear of open spaces) and panic attacks.

Moreover, "Xanax" is sometimes prescribed to treat anxiety caused by chronic depression and nausea associated with chemotherapy in cancer patients.

The country where "Xanax" is the most prescribed for medicinal purposes is the US, where this substance is widely used for recreational purposes. This active substance is generally medically prescribed as oral pills.

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20th October 2016

Addicts consume "counterfeit drugs" that could result in death

Forensic experts in the police of Dubai and Abu Dhabi revealed the seizure of "counterfeit drugs" belonging to addicts. Tests have shown that they contain no narcotic substance, and that buyers were ripped off.

Experts said to "Emirates Today" newspaper that during the examination of certain narcotic substances, such as "Captagon" it turned out that they are "Panadol" or other tablets containing "Paracetamol" a component used in drugs against colds and completely void of prohibited substance "Amphetamines".

Moreover, they mentioned the seizure of a quantity of heroin but after analysis, it turned out they were simple dietary supplements and normal powder that have nothing to do with heroin drugs.

They added, during the "protection" Forum which was organized recently by the Dubai police, that these samples are conclusive evidence of the seriousness of the substance involved in the manufacture of drugs. Indeed, manufacturers are able to add toxic substances that can lead to dangerous complications for addicts, resulting even in their death. Experts noted that some defendants were acquitted after test results revealed that the quantity of drugs in their possession was free of psychoactive substances; nevertheless, they were shocked by this discovery.

Experts also told the story of a person arrested for possession of two kilograms of heroin which were sent to forensic laboratory for analysis. Tests revealed them to be a powder consisting of dietary supplements, sugary flavors and caffeine. The man was shocked when he realized he had been conned though he was exonerated.

For his part, Al-Sumaiti stressed that though these cases do not happen very often, they reflect the nature of risks arising from blends that go into the composition of drugs. Manufacturers of these poisons are trying as much as possible to increase the weight of the goods at the expense of the rate of concentration of the active ingredient. This is reflected in the manufacturing of heroin, where they produce a lot from a single kilogram of pure substance after adding other components.

In addition, Captain Sulaiman Abdullah Al Naqbi, forensic expert at the Abu Dhabi Police and the United Nations Office, said that the General Directorate of Criminal Evidence of the Abu Dhabi police reviewed during this year samples of seized products that were in possession of some addicts, and it turned out that they are the "Panadol" in the form of "Captagon".

Al-Naqbi mentioned that the Directorate had studied the behavior of drug dealers and discovered some competition between them to add substances affecting the central nervous system. Some of them have even added aphrodisiac, to meet consumer’s needs.

He added that the study focused also on the behavior of addicts and the determination of what is called by “addiction seasons”, which is the time of the year during there is an increase in the abuse of certain types of drugs more than others, or when a particular category consumes specific substances, such as truck drivers who abuse amphetamine stimulant to be able to drive for long periods, as well as students.

After testing, it turned out that products which enter into the composition of these substances and the process of their manufacture pose a serious risk to human health. Tramadol, for example, is a calming prescribed for treatment of specific ailments.  It contains 50 milligrams of the active ingredient, but the drug manufacturers will add a rate of up to 250% in order to reach the effect that attracts drug users. But this high rate of the active ingredient could not be tolerated by the body, resulting thus in death or serious diseases. The way these substances are used can also cause various complications, should they not be tolerated by the body.

For her part, Joueli revealed the discovery of toxic substances in some samples received by the laboratory, such as lead, nickel and mercury. Some manufacturers of these substances are also adding aphrodisiac to achieve high volume of sales, noting that regular new narcotics emergence is an ongoing challenge for regulators and stakeholders.

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