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Drug addiction in Egypt twice the global rates: Minister

Egypt’s Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali said on Monday that the rate of drug addiction in Egypt is twice the global rates, as the percentage in Egypt has reached 10 percent.

During an interview with TV host Lamis al-Hadidy on Monday, Wali also pointed out that the drop that has occurred in drug use among school bus drivers from 12 percent to 3.6 percent does not necessarily mean that drivers have stopped taking drugs, but may instead mean that school administrations are increasingly choosing drivers who do not abuse drugs.

She went on to say that Tramadol is one of the most common drugs circulated among drug users, where it accounted for 60 percent of total drug use, followed by cannabis and heroin.

During the first semester of the past school year, the Ministry received 56 reports from mothers who suspected drug abuse by school bus drivers, and surprisingly all of these reports were proven true, the Minister remarked.

She pointed out that the Ministry conducted drug analyses on all metro drivers, as well as employees of the Ministry of Social Solidarity, where some were suspended from work after having been proved to be drug abusers.

A program for testing drugs use among school bus drivers was launched in 2016 and proved that dozens of drivers were using various drugs, including marijuana, Tramadol and heroin.

The drivers were tested by a drug-testing committee from the Fighting and Treating Addiction Fund (FTAF), which is headed by Wali.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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