Extent of Drug Abuse: Heroin is reported the most abused drug in Bahrain. There are 85 registered abusers according to an international survey (U.N. 1990). Benzodiazepines and minor tranquilizers are the next most abused drug, with 25 registered abusers (U.N. 1990). Other drugs abused include inhalants (4 registered abusers), opium (3 abusers) and cocaine (1 abuser) (U.N. 1990).

Abuser Characteristics: Most of the heroin abusers are male, between 20-35 years of age. They are reported to belong to the low and middle-income class (U.N. 1990).

Regional Variations: Heroin abuse is reported more common among the urban population (U.N. 1990).

Trends: A large decrease was reported in the abuse of heroin in 1990. This drop is attributed to law reinforcement, drug education efforts, increased public awareness, rehabilitation programs at hospitals and cooperation with the Ministry of Interior. Benzodiazepines abuse was reported stable (U.N. 1990).

Mode of intake: Injection is the most predominant method of heroin abuse. The I.V. route is reported becoming more prevalent among abusers because of its quicker effect and cheaper cost. Benzodizepines are usually ingested, and taken in combination with opium and alcohol (U.N. 1990).


A total of 8 deaths associated to heroin and 4 deaths by heroin overdose were reported in 1990 (U.N. 1990). H.I.V. infection and Hepatitis B virus are reported increasing among drug abusers. This is attributed to the practice of sharing needles (U.N. 1990).


National Strategy: None reported by 31st December 1993.

Structure of National Drug Control Organs: The central government unit responsible for liaison and coordination of national drug control policy is Pharmacy and Drug Control Directorate within the Ministry of Health.


Treaty adherence : Bahrain is party to the 1961 Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

Measures taken with respect to Drug Control
Recently enacted laws and regulations: None reported
Licensing system for manufacture, trade and distribution: There is a government-controlled licensing system for both or narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. No manufacture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances was reported.

Control Measures: system: 1. Prescription requirement: There is a prescription requirement for supply or dispensation of preparations containing narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
2. Warnings on packages: The law does not require warnings on packages or accompanying leaflet information to safeguard the users of preparations containing narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
3. Control of non-treaty substances, if any: None reported.
4. Other administrative measures: In October 1991, it was decided to withdraw all preparations containing triazolam (Halcyon) from the market.

Social Measures
Penal Sanctions related to social measures: In 1991, courts applied measures of treatment, education, after-care, rehabilitation or social reintegration for a drug-related offence both an alternative and in addition to conviction or punishment.
Other social measures: None reported.


Primary Prevention: Prevention programmes for the general public include talks and lectures in social clubs, schools and colleges, information booklets directed at young people and their families, video tapes, mass media programmes, religious instruction and societies such as Alcoholics Anonymous. In hospitals, drug prevention video tapes and religious instruction are reported available (U.N. 1990).
Treatment and Rehabilitation: The Drug Rehabilitation Unit is the only unit for treatment in the country. The available treatment programme aims at social integration within the family unit and establishing links with support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous and the religiously based Al Noor group. The social worker in the unit works closely with the Ministry of Social Offices for job enrollment and rehabilitation (U.N. 1990).

It was reported that 10 abusers received treatment, and 2 abusers sought treatment for the first time in 1990 (U.N. 1990).


Arrests, Convictions and types of Offences: A reported total of 543 people were arrested for possession of illicit drugs (455 possessed heroin, 85 cannabis and 3 opium), Almost all of those arrested were male (females made up 1 per cent of the cases) and were between 20 and 30 years of age. Of those arrested, 119 were convicted for possession of illicit drugs (81 possessed heroin, 35 cannabis and 3 opium) (U.N. 1989).
Seizures: Less than 1 kg of cannabis resin and 1.3 kg of heroin were seized in 1991 (Other 1991).
Supply Source of Drugs: No information reported by 31st December 1993.


Estimated population:                                                      1.9 million (1993)
Life expectancy at birth:                                                    years (1990)
Annual population growth rate:                                         ...% (1960-1990)
                                                                                                % (1990-2000)
Urban population                                                                   %  (1990)
Real GDP per capita:                                                  PPP$ (1988)
Adult literacy Rate (male):                                        
Adult literacy Rate (female):                                     
Primary enrolment:                                                      
Mean years of schooling:                                                        %(1980)
Population per doctor:                                                 (1984)
Population per nurse (1984-1989):                         
Population with access to
 health services:                                                          
Radios (per 1,000 people):                                    
Daily newspaper circulation
 (per 1,000 people):                                                          
Televisions (per 1,000 people):                                              
Human Development Index:                                                  (1991)
(Ref: -----)

References and notes
U.N. 1989, 1990.   Reply to the UNDCP Annual Reports Questionnaire. 
Other 1991.                 Obtained from one or more seizure reports provided by the Government or from other official sources for the year 1991.
* The Legal, Administrative and Other Action Taken to Implement the International Drug Control Treaties section was prepared by the Secretariat of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs based on Annual Reports Questionnaires for the years 1989 through 1991.

The general background information is taken from: Human Development Report 1993, published for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), New York, Oxford University Press, Demographic Yearbook, New York, United Nations 1993.