Over 45,000 drug addicts in Egypt find help through hotline during January-May: Minister

Around 45,099 Egyptian drug addicts from January-May have benefited from the Addiction Treatment and Abuse Fund’s services through hotline 16023, Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine al-Qabbaj announced Saturday.

Of these, 92.84 percent were male and 7.14 percent were female, she noted.

Free treatment services vary between follow-up calls and calls for advice provided by 23 centers in 14 governorates.

Most callers were from Cairo governorate, representing 32.05 percent of the total number, followed by 17.13 percent from Giza governorate, Qabbaj said, likely owing to their higher populations and ease of contact.

The majority of callers learned about the treatment services through TV, followed by the internet from the fund’s official page, direct interaction, and word-of-mouth via friends.

Fund director Amr Osman said that 60.05 percent of the hotline’s callers were addicted to cannabis, followed by 49.97 percent to tramadol, 34.05 percent to heroin, and 11.88 percent to astrox and voodoo.

Former Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali said back in 2018 that the rate of drug addiction in Egypt was twice the global rates, reaching 10 percent.

Tramadol was one of the most common drugs circulated among drug users, accounting for 60 percent of total drug use followed by cannabis and heroin in 2018, Wali added.

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