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.