Middle East: War Driving Iraqis to Drugs

7/21/06

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!


http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/445/drugs-in-iraq.shtml

Thanks to the horrors of war, drug abuse is on the rise in Iraq, Iraqi officials and residents told the Associated Press Monday. With the Baghdad morgue reporting that some 6,000 bodies, most of them bearing signs of violence, have shown up this year alone, the urge to get away from it all is understandable.

It certainly was for Tamam Abdul-Kadhim, who told the AP he started using a sedative after witnessing a bloody bombing. Soon he was addicted. "I saw for the first time in my life brains and body parts scattered after a bombing in central Baghdad," he said. "I was not able to think properly or sleep because the images from that massacre were stuck in my mind so that I relied on this medicine."

Abdul-Kadhim sought help at the Ibn Rushid psychiatric hospital. He isn't the only one, said doctors there, and he represents a new trend: the abuse of prescription and illegal drugs instead of alcohol. Under the secular regime of Saddam Hussein, alcohol was available, but it is increasingly less so now. "Illegal narcotics are available everywhere in Iraq and anyone can get products containing amphetamines and codeine from any pharmacy or sidewalk throughout Iraq," said Ibn Rushid's director, Dr. Shaalan Joda Al Abod. "While getting alcohol became harder due to ongoing harassment and threats by extremists against the liquor shops and factories as all bars and nightclubs are closed," he added.

Since the war, the numbers have flipped, said Abod. In Saddam's day, 80% of patients were treated for alcoholism; now more than 70% are being treated for drugs. Ibn Rushid is getting about one new patient a day, Abod said, with 90% of them being young adults.

Iraqi officials are working to develop public awareness campaigns, but that is difficult when going out on the streets can get you killed. "We can't send our teams to all parts of Iraq, particularly the outskirts of urban areas where addiction is high," health ministry spokesman Qassim Allawi told the AP. "Our work is limited to holding one or two conferences a year, publishing posters and sometimes TV advertisements."

Ahmed Abdul-Jabar, 28, told the AP he has a degree in Arabic literature, but he now sells cigarettes on a Baghdad street. Drugs help him cope, he said. "With only these tablets, I can go on."

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail drcnet@drcnet.org. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #445 -- 7/21/06

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!

Editorial: Do We Really Want to Help Kids Find the Drug Dealers? | Feature: Vancouver Fights to Save Its Pioneering Safe Injection Site | Feature: What Would Jesus Do? Religious Communities as Drug Reform Allies | Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Sentencing: Bill to Study Habitual Drug Offender Registry Introduced in Maine | Europe: Britain Goes After Medical Marijuana Suppliers | Australia: Victoria Greens Call For Prescription Heroin, Safe Injection Sites | Middle East: War Driving Iraqis to Drugs | Canada: Vancouver Police to Stop Arresting Peaceable Drug Users, According to New Draft Policy | Canada: Nelson, British Columbia, Head Shop Busted for Marijuana Sales | Harm Reduction: Needle Access Bills to Become Law in Delaware, Massachusetts | Web Scan: Cato on Paramilitary Police Raids, John Fugelsang on Drug War for Daily Kos, Australia Institute Drug Prohibition Report | Weekly: This Week in History | Jobs and Internships: Marijuana Policy Project and Criminal Justice Policy Foundation | Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar

Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 drcnet@drcnet.org