Drugs in the Global Village
Middle East Regional Report

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).

In 1989, a total of 1165 persons received treatment for drug abuse, according to figures reported by governmental and non governmental treatment facilities (IDAAS 1990). In 1990, 308 opiate abusers and 134 abusers of other drugs were treated. The main method employed is the curative method and the desire of the abuser himself to leave drug abuse (U.N. 1989).

Government treatment services are available in Alexandria and Cairo. Each city has two treatment facilities, one free of charge for those who volunteer and the other at a reasonable cost, each with capacity of 70 beds. A newly established unit has also opened, with treatment being offered at reasonable costs. Non governmental treatment is also available through the Central Association for Addressing Alcohol and Drug Addiction, where treatment is offered to volunteers at very low cost. Arrested drug abusers can be sentenced to compulsory treatment at one of the governmental treatment facilities (IDAAS 1989).

In 1991, the Iraqi National Committee for Prevention of Drug and Alcohol Abuse reported treating 14 people for volatile solvents abuse (CMO 1991).
Detoxification and maintenance programmes are available to alcohol and sedative abusers. Detoxification programmes are about 2-4 weeks long, in in-patient settings, and include follow up visits. Professionals who deal with drug dependent abusers (including doctors, social workers and nurses) are provided with training programmes. Psychologists also deal with abusers, though it is reported that they are not provided with special training (CMO 1991).
Treatment programmes such as general medical care, detoxification, vocational training and social reintegration are provided for drug dependent abusers who are incarcerated (CMO 1991).

Programmes available for drug abusers include detoxification programmes, drug free counselling, support to families of drug dependent abusers, and acupuncture. Abusers in rehabilitation centres participate in individual or group activities, occupational activities and recreational programmes. Treatment in rehabilitation centres throughout the country are free of charge (U.N. 1992).

In 1992, 8,534 patients were treated for opiate-type drug abuse (7,859 males), 1,155 abusers were treated for heroin abuse (848 males) and 1,544 abusers were treated for cannabis abuse (1,312 females). A further 1,150 abusers were treated for the abuse of other drugs (966 females) (U.N. 1992). There are 17 drug rehabilitation centres throughout the country, none of which use methadone or other types of drug therapy, under the general control of the Anti- Narcotics Headquarters. The Ministry of Health's Social Welfare Organization is responsible for the day to day management of the centres (Workshop 1993).

Drug abusers who are arrested are kept in rehabilitation centres. After detoxification, they undergo psychotherapy, vocational and occupational treatment (U.N. 1990).

Treatment and rehabilitation is a part of the holistic approach to the drug abuse problem (side by side with prevention, law enforcement, community action, human resources development, etc). Treatment and rehabilitation is run in an integrated fashion based on medical and psycho-social treatment at the local, regional and national levels. The programmes are based on individual diagnosis assessing the patient's surroundings and their ability and motivation to cooperate with the programme. Programmes deal with the drug abusers and their family (U.N. 1992).

In 1992, a total of 2,875 patients were treated in 44 facilities, including 28 community programmes, 7 methadone maintenance facilities, 4 specialized detoxification facilities, 3 non-hospital residential units and 2 facilities within prisons. Over 90 per cent of the patients treated were male. About 60 per cent of the prison population are drug abusers (70 per cent male), and all prisons offer abusers general medical care. In some prisons there are detoxification programmes, counselling on drug and drug related diseases, vocational training, general education, social reintegration and after care (U.N. 1992, CMO 1991).

Services are offered to help in the social reintegration of people who have undergone treatment and rehabilitation programmes, including special assistance in finding employment and accommodation, training opportunities, counselling services for ex-abusers and their families and half-way houses (U.N. 1992).

No information reported by 31st December 1993.

Treatment and rehabilitation policies include methadone replacement therapy for established opiate addicts, conversion from injectable to non injectable/oral drugs, detoxification, motivation to stop abuse, social support, psychotherapy, family therapy and educational and rehabilitation programmes (CMO 1991).

There are two treatment facilities available, one in a psychiatric hospital and one within a prison. A reported total of 296 addicts were treated in 1992 (compared to 249 in 1991), and 135 abusers sought treatment for the first time in 1992 (compared to 204 in 1991). All the abusers are male. Most of the patients who received treatment are alcohol and perfumes abusers, followed by abusers of opiate-type drugs and volatile solvents. The number of opiate-type drug abusers seeking treatment decreased from 36% in 1991 to 9% in 1992 (CMO 1991).

For people who have undergone treatment and rehabilitation, special assistance in finding employment is available from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour and assistance in finding accommodation is available from the Ministry of Housing. Counselling for ex-abusers is available through psychiatric services (CMO 1991).

The most commonly used treatment centres in both urban and rural areas are hospitals. Nearly 47 per cent of the people who had some kind of treatment went to a hospital. This was followed by treatment by doctors and self-medication. About 6 per cent of abusers seeking treatment went to a hakeem (Fourth National Survey 1989).
A total of 30 detoxification centers were established in teaching hospitals or District Headquarter Hospitals through out Pakistan. Follow up projects are aimed at improving the quality of these services as well as developing new programmes which will include family involvement (Workshop 1993).

Drug dependent abusers are treated in the Mental Health Division of Hamad Medical Institution. Treating physicians meet with the patient to follow up his health situation and determine the quantity of medicine necessary. This treatment continues until the patient is cured and returns to his normal activities (CMO 1990).

No information reported by 31st December 1993.


No treatment programmes were reported as available for the drug dependent abusers. Treatment is available, however, to the drug abusers in prisons (7.25 per cent of the population). All prisons provide general medical care, counselling on drugs and drug related diseases, and some prisons also provide, vocational training and general education (CMO 1991).