PHC 314 SEU Abuse of Drugs in Saudi Arabia Discussion

Abuse of Drugs in Saudi Arabia

Abuse of drugs is a severe problem around the world. Two hundred seventy-five million people across the world are using illicit drugs, as the United Nations office reports it. The most commonly abused drugs around the globe are cannabis, opioids, amphetamines, and cocaine. The usage of these drugs annually is at the rate of 5.6% worldwide and cannabis is seen to be mostly abused drug globally, with up to 192 million people using cannabis on a daily basis. According to World Health Organization, the mortality rates resulting from substance abuse was recorded higher in 2015 by 168,000 deaths.

In Saudi Arabia, smoking is the most commonly abused drug. The World health organization had a record rate of 12.2% of tobacco usage in Saudi Arabia in 2017. The rate of males smoking was higher than that of women. Water pipe, commonly known as shisha, is famous in the Middle East. Shisha smoking has been recorded to be 7.3%. 1.3% of the total 10,735 people.. Also, another research that was carried out in Jeddah for females of ages 15 years old and above was that 332 adults visiting restaurants said that 93% of the females were heavy users of shisha. Only 17.1% of them in the research were found smoking cigarettes. For alcohol abuse, a study carried out in Jeddah hospital indicated that were more alcohol abusers at the rate of 87%. Also, 17,254 males and 10,562 females, 78 of them were alcohol abusers in another study at the medical facility (Al-Basry et al., 2019).

For the past decade, it has been seen that cannabis and amphetamine has been highly used in the county, and also use of heroin has decreased in Saudi Arabia. For this, group pressure and stress were the more relevant factors for substance abuse in Saudi Arabia. Also, relapse, depression, and anxiety were Saudi Arabia patients’ most common risk factors (Bassiony,2019). Healthcare has played an essential role in Saudia’s substance abuse problem. Pharmacists have been well-trained, and they have been considered essential monitors for drug abusers. They also evaluate how critical the patients’ conditions is and provide them with a suitable level of care. They also give out directions for a proper recovery. However, as they play a crucial role, many pharmacists without inadequate knowledge of substance abuse (Mobrad et al., 2020). Also, several rehabilitation centers work to rehabilitate patients that are chronic abusers. This helps to reduce the number of abusers in the country. Most Saudi Arabian patients are admitted to a rehabilitation center in Al-Qassim. In conclusion, drug use in Saudi Arabia is a bigger problem that the country’s healthcare services must consider. Healthcare in Saudi Arabia must consider substance use as a serious problem that can impact the nation in the coming years and also affect the future generations to come. In general, this is a worldwide problem that needs full attention from the healthcare sector in order to combat its impact especially among the youth since mostly the youths are affected.


Al-Basry, E., Aldawood, H., Almudhry, Z., Alshammari, N., & Busaleh, H. (2019). Substance abuse among the Saudi population. International Journal of Medicine in Developing Countries, 204–209.

Bassiony, M. (2019, February 19). Substance use disorders in Saudi Arabia: review article. Journal of Substance Use, 18(6), 450–466.

Mobrad A.M., Alghadeer S., Syeed W., Al-Arifi M.N., Azher A., Almetawazi M.S., Babelghaith S.D. (2020). Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs Regarding Drug Abuse and Misuse among Community Pharmacists in Saudi Arabia.

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