Statistics from an Egyptian anti-addiction hotline have shown that over 40% off drug users in Egypt are using the powerful pain drug.
What is the most abused drug in Egypt? If you guessed hashish you would be surprisingly wrong, as according to information released by the Anti-Addiction Fund’s hotline, Tramadol is the number one illicit drug abused by a whopping 40.7 % of Egyptian drug users.
The staggering figure was recently quoted by Social Solidarity Minister, Ghada Wali, who tried to raise awareness of its widespread abuse. Tramadol is a powerful opiate supposed to be prescribed to patients suffering from severe pain. Sadly, this medicine has gone from being used as a pain reliever to being used as a recreational drug bought easily on the street.
Trying to curb its exponential rise, a law was passed that would fine and possibly sentence abusers to prison, if caught possessing the dangerously addictive drug without a prescription. Part of its popularity was due to it widespread availability at ridiculously low price of LE1 per 225mg pill. Recently the price has risen with the cost hovering around LE15/pill.
Making matters worse is the young age that many users begin abusing. According to the hotline figures in 2014, 6% of callers started at age 15 and 24.9% begin between ages 15-20. The most recent numbers obtained suggest that users between ages 15-20 dropped 2% to 22.9%, however the year isn’t over and the number suggests that the new law and rising price have failed to reduce the amount of abuse.
With addiction being a problem, Minister Wali mentioned that the number of rehabilitation centres have increased this year from 13 to 16. If you, or a friend are searching for help to overcome your addiction, the Anti-Addiction Fund’s hotline (16023) is available 24/7 to listen and direct those suffering to partnered hospitals offering treatment.