Public Health of Addiction


1.Dr. H.E. Hamad Al Ghafri (⚑ United Arab Emirates) 1



Drug use is an increasing global public health concern (1). A public health approach to addressing substance misuse and substance use disorders could lead to a consistent reduction in health and social problems and costs (2). A Study of the economic impact of addiction in the Middle East, conducted by UNODC and NRC Abu Dhabi showed that addiction in the UAE cost 1.4% of the country’s annual GDP with most of the cost in loss of productivity and death.

A public health strategy should include working polices, strengthen data collection, reporting, and improve access to addiction services (prevention, treatment, and recovery support services). It should also advance the practice of pain management and increase the availability of overdose-reversing drugs, support cutting-edge research, and upgrade the training programs for all the professional working in the field of addiction with continuous monitoring (4).

A combination of leadership, good financing system, with a professional trained workforce and supported by an advanced information system should contribute to a successful health system. This will help in reducing the burden of the disease and increase the availability of services to those who need it.

(1) Drug use, drug use disorders, and treatment services in the Eastern Mediterranean region: a systematic review. Afarin Rahimi.

(2) Nora Volkow’s.

(3) US Surgeon general report 2016.

(4) (Johnson et al, 2018)

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