Sunday, October 26, 2014

Narcotics Addictions in Kuwait

Drug abuse is seriously on the rise in Kuwait.  I'm going to talk about what I know.  I can't provide statistics because I haven't seen any published anywhere.

I personally know of 2 Kuwaiti teenagers who got hooked on heroin (children of friends).  And I have heard that the escalation of violent crime in Kuwait is because more people have started using meth (methamphetamines); referred to as "shabu" here.  It is so sad.  These drugs ruin people's lives (and brains) and it is such a waste.

I've had a Kuwaiti friend-of-a-friend for the past few years now.  He's always been distant and had sad eyes (extremely good looking!).  He's a non-drinker and doesn't show up at parties or gatherings where alcohol is served.  I know he's not conservatively religious, so I didn't really understand.  This weekend he confided in me that he's a recovering heroin addict.  It came as a total shock to me.  He said he started when he was 17 on various kinds of drugs and then worked up to heroin.  I haven't gone much more into detail with him about it; I choose to let people tell me what they want to and not push the subject.  Maybe he'll tell me more later.  He's in a 12-step program now (in Kuwait) and I really admire him for his honesty (and for confiding in me).

There are very few articles about addictions in Kuwait, as it is a rather taboo subject.  This one is from 2002, stating that drug addiction is on the rise.  I'm sure that there must be studies and clinics, but I'm just tuning in now.  It isn't a topic that I've been watching.  My "go-to" for any information like this is Soor Center (they do advertise addiction recovery but I don't know what type).

I have known about these social problems in Kuwait for a long time, but I never knew someone so close was affected by it.  It got me to wondering who else I might now who is addicted (or considering taking those types of drugs).  I've been here for a long time, but it is never something that I seriously considered until it got so close to me.

There are programs in Kuwait to help with alcohol and drug abuse addictions.  I grew up surrounded by a lot of people who would now be considered "alcoholics" and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.


Crazy in Kuwait said...

I used to work in Mental Health with the County in California, serving rehabilitation for drug addicts so I was horrified to see the tools of tweakers on IG. I've seen the guys who roll up some hashish cigs but heroin and meth, wow! Those are ugly ones to recover from. Tweakers are the paranoid people with bad teeth that will totally rob your house but they are good for cleaning a house top to bottom in 20 minutes hehehe

But seriously it will get uglier and more violent if they don't start treating it as a problem instead of hiding it because it is a taboo subject. There have been stories of Kuwaiti guys beating up their parents.

That is just the beginning.

Anonymous said...

Hate to add gloom to the doom but.. Somehow crimes done here under the influence of drugs or alcohol are considered less severe. The criminal wasnt completely responsible since he was high. I think it should of course be the opposite, if you are high AND do crimes then you should be in much much more trouble.

Anonymous said...

If the government woke up and properly dealt with our drug problem we wouldn't have this. But what do you expect from a place that deals with a marijuana smoker in the same way they deal with a heroine addict? I don't care how safe or dangerous a drug is, the point is ruining a person's life by putting him in jail for a joint is just wrong. Even though I am only a supporter of marijuana legalization, I am a supporter of all drug decriminalization because we should help addicts to gain their lives back, not garauntee them rejection from society.

Anonymous said...

Marijuana is not the gateway drug. Marijuana is the cure to all our drug problems. Me and my colleagues who have been smoking daily for years are living proof that it's safe and beneficial. We are not the lazy slobs social media pictures us as, we are well educated kuwaitis just a few years from graduating from med school. Stop the madness Kuwait. Save the children!

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing. I am working in US to hopefully use techniques to encourage those in the urban center rebuild their communities. I want to come to Kuwait to learn more about development strategies however, just learning you have one of the highest currencies in the world. Again, thanks for sharing and informing that these issues are in places one would not normally think. I hope I get the opportunity to visit Kuwait and build enduring relationships to aid those in need.