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Yemen Establishes Its First Addiction Rehab Center
The Ministry of Health and Population will build a center for treating drug addiction and psychological illnesses, the first of its kind in Yemen, said Dr. Dhyaa Fadhil, a Psychological Health Program Officer at the Ministry of Health. The center comes as Yemen started becoming a stepping stone to drug trafficking to neighboring countries.
The program will launch an awareness campaign about drug trafficking and addiction risks in the different Yemeni provinces this week. “This campaign is the first step and will be followed by continual field visits to all Yemeni schools to promote awareness among students about the psychological, social, economic and health risks of addiction,” said Fadhil.
Fadhil also said that the Psychological Health Program—in collaboration with some other partners—is preparing to conduct a comprehensive evaluative study of all aspects of addiction.
While there is currently no official data about the number of addicts in Yemen, in 2008, more than 27 tons of narcotics and 14 million pills were seized within or at Yemeni borders, and about 259 people were arrested for drug trafficking. Eighty-eight percent of those arrested were Yemeni, according to a source from the Anti-Narcotics Directory at the Ministry of Interior.
In May 2008 the special Appeal Penal Court ordered a large amount of drugs to be destroyed, including four tons of hashish and millions of narcotic pills. Judge Saeed al-Aquil, head of the Specialized Penal Court, said, “Yemen itself is not a narcotic consumer country as is the case in other countries, but its geographical position makes it a distinctive transit station for trafficking carried out by drug gangs.”