Drugs in the Global Village
Middle East Regional Report

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).

Prevention programmes include drug awareness programmes in schools and universities, as well as in labour-groups. Frequent visits to the Social Defense Club of the Ministry of Social Affairs are organized for abusers. Programmes are promoted in the mass media (U.N. 1989).

No information reported in Annual Reports Questionnaire by 31st December 1993.

Prevention activities include the prohibition of smoking at all levels of the educational system, and measures organized by social and welfare organizations which provide services to adolescents through training centres. The Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) has also established a plan to provide information to students and their parents on how to cope with the problems of drug dependency. Religious groups and sport clubs are also involved in the implementation of prevention programmes. Media campaigns to promote drug prevention have been undertaken with cooperation from health professionals, law enforcement agencies, private companies and members of the Anti- Narcotics Headquarters (U.N. 1992).

All those who apply for official employment in ministries, organizations and governmental institutes are required to be tested for illegal drugs. Those who are suspected of druc abuse are also tested (U.N. 1992).

In 1989, prevention activities began in secondary schools and drug education was included as part of the curricula. In 1990 prevention activities began among higher education institutions and, in 1992, prevention activities began among one experimental group of primary schools. Over the 1990/1991 school year, 475 of Israel's 600 high schools implemented a substance abuse programme. Programmes undertaken in the schools include discussions, films, lectures and shows in high schools, youth anti-drug assemblies and peer counselling (where students who are trained in drug prevention provide programmes for their peers). Programmes of prevention and alternative activities are developed for school drop-outs, arab, bedouin and druse populations. There are also special programmes for religious students, soldiers and new immigrants. Exclusive training programmes are organized for teachers and counselors, and parents meetings and workshops are also organized (U.N. 1992, Ministry of Police 1993).

Workshops, lectures and material on prevention is offered in the workplace (factories, industries, government officers, port workers). Drug tests are obligatory in the IDF (Israel Defense Force), but no other occupational group is randomly tested. However, no laws specifically forbid nor require the testing of employees for illicit drugs (U.N. 1992).

Basic training in drug prevention is part of the education programmes of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, other health workers, social workers and criminologists. Further training programmes are offered to social workers and teachers (U.N. 1992).

The media has been active in promoting drug prevention messages to the youth and wide audience since 1989 (U.N. 1992).

No information reported in Annual Reports Questionnaire by 31st December 1993.

Basic and further training in drug education is included in the education programmes of doctors, nurses and law enforcement personnel (CMO 1991).

Prevention programmes are organized by law enforcement agencies, and are aimed at those who are considered at risks. Newspaper and magazine articles were published in the 1980's and 1990's promoting drug prevention messages for the public in general, and a television serial was aired in 1991 (CMO 1991). However, since the problem is reported limited, exposure in the media is not favoured for fear of causing negative reactions (CMO 1990).

In 1985, drug education was introduced into school curricula and text books, and about 3,000 in-service teachers were given training in preventive education. As a follow up, drug prevention training has been introduced in the pre-service training of teachers. About 25,000 teachers should be receiving training every year, when the programme is fully implemented (Workshop 1993).

The print and electronic media is used to promote drug awareness among the literate and illiterate populations of both urban and rural sectors (Workshop 1993). A media campaign was also conducted during the poppy seed season, with the goal of making people produce alternative crops inducement and a change in their attitudes (CMO 1990).

Projects at the community level are being planned which will encourage youth to become involved in healthier alternatives such as cultural and sports activities (Workshop 1993).

No new preventive educational activities have been reported since 1987. The various educational institutions (family, school, university, mosque, youth welfare institutions) perform their role in making the population aware of the harmful effects of drugs through seminars and lectures. No drug prevention curricula are reported in educational programmes (CMO 1990).

Law enforcement agencies and health and social services are also active in making the population aware of the harmful effects of drugs. Besides these efforts, there are voluntary social, cultural and health efforts made by the Qatari Red Crescent Society to make
the society aware of the effects of drug abuse (CMO 1990).

Information agencies organize campaigns through the media which focused on creating awareness among the youth of the harmful effects of drug abuse, as well as explaining the Islamic law and Government legislation on drug related offences (CMO 1990).

Drug education programmes are offered to students starting from intermediate schools up through universities. These programmes take the form of lectures, seminars and exhibitions. Drug education programmes for the public are also offered within athletic clubs (U.N. 1988).

The media also participates in the campaign against drug abuse (CMO 1989).

Basic training in drug education is part of the education programme of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, other health workers and social workers. Further training is also part of the programmes for doctors and pharmacists (U.N. 1992).

Drug education is part of the school curricula (grades 2 and 3) although the percentage enrolled is very small. No preventive programmes and activities were reported as available for any target groups (CMO 1991).