Addiction in the Middle East

March 17, 2022

Addiction in the Middle East is a sensitive topic, just as it is in various demographics around the world. There are various physical, mental, social and spiritual stigmas around the discourse, leading to various levels of ignorance and unawareness, which is a global pattern witnessed in diverse forms.

The rise in substance addiction is fuelled by many different reasons and channels including underworld distribution networks, over-the-counter-prescription abuse, entertainment and personal leisurely indulgences. These reasons and factors (amongst others) have created a form of supply and demand ecosystem, drawing more individuals into this toxic cycle. 

The condition in the Middle East is worsened by the criminalisation regulations; severely penalising anyone involved with drugs or addiction. There are various degrees of punishment including jail time and capital sentences for those convicted in the act of peddling and consuming substances. Addiction is a disease, with various intricate factors contributing to its nature, including genetic predisposition and environmental factors. Regulation punishment does not treat the cause of the addiction or its symptoms; it merely punishes the act of committing the crime. The underlying cause is hardly addressed, making it complicated for anyone seeking treatment for the better.

Subsequently, evidence-based substance rehabilitation facilities in the Middle East are limited, and this causes more despair for those in search of a fresh start. Addiction in itself is a sophisticated discourse, with various underlying factors. Not everyone who is exposed to drugs gets addicted to them; some more than others. This is due to the diverse physiological, chemical and biological construct of people around the world. Some have higher risks of getting addicted and having adverse effects from drugs, when compared with the rest.

Therefore, in order to create a more sustainable recovery process, in-depth analysis by experienced certified professionals is mandatory to understand the various underlying factors, before addressing the addiction. The process varies for different substance addictions and requires scrutiny and intricacy of the highest quality. Inaccurate diagnostics may lead to detrimental effects for the person seeking treatment.


The spectrum of factors that cause substance addiction ranges from sociological mechanics, genetic structure and emotions, to mental health conditions, spirituality, and medical conditions. Subsequently, these factors contribute to this discourse and induce severe complexities in dealing with condition analysis and treatments. Consumption of drugs does not absolutely cause addiction, rather, it triggers an internal mechanism within the biological construct. It is this internal mechanism that determines the addiction towards a particular substance, and is subjective from person to person. This heavily relies on the genetic predisposition of the individual involved in the activity of addiction as people have different levels of vulnerability towards the substance. 

Interpersonal relationships and social construct of one’s being is also a huge factor in addiction. In many social studies done around the world, some of the common causes of addiction is the disharmony of family relationships and peer pressure. One could have picked up the habit to fit in with a particular group of friends or peers, fearing being left out. Whilst so, some initiate it due to curiosity fueled by their social circle. Adding on, other ‘socially allowed’ activities in the Middle East like smoking ‘Hookah’ is known to be a gateway for consumption of illicit drugs, starting off as a ‘leisure activity’. On another end of the spectrum, strife or hardship can drive people to seek ‘outlets’ to numb the pain; resorting to substances. Using substances as an option to channel hardships of life is a common reason to adopt this deadly habit. 

Most addicts also have a preexisting mental disorder like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. To cope with these diseases, addicts have resorted to drugs in dealing with illness symptoms and corresponding physiological effects. These situations are often unmonitored and cause the person to spiral out of control, leading to various harms to self and others. Adding on, misuse of prescription by physicians is another route to addiction, very commonly happening amongst teenagers. For example, “Adderall” used to treat hyperactivity creates cravings for “amphetamines.” “Pseudoephedrine”, an ingredient in methamphetamine, is also employed in nasal sprays. Hence, any exposure to “ephedrines” will create cravings for that drug. 

One’s susceptibility to addiction depends on various factors, and is best understood for efficient treatment provision. Addiction is a disease and requires evidence-based treatment coupled with sustainable lifestyle changes for best results.


Addiction is a disease that affects the best of people, and can easily prey on you! You may not be responsible for your addiction, but you are responsible for seeking recovery. At Solace, we empower you to take control of your life and treat addiction using evidence based methods, infusing medications and lifestyle changes. 

Solace uses a Biopsychosocial-Spiritual model where at the biological level, treatment is administered physiologically to rid the body from craving drugs. The psychological level requires neurological conditioning to live addiction-free. Socially, Solace re-immerses the patient into society, allowing the individual to reconnect with social elements. Lastly, at a spiritual level, values and principles of responsible and sustainable living are infused to create sustainable recovery. 

While our sales offices are around the globe, the luxury rehabilitation retreat facility is located in Malaysia. Solace’s 5-Star rehabilitation is a Muslim-friendly environment; serving Halal cuisines and catering to your Islamic lifestyles including observing mosque visits. Added to that, Solace has both Malaysian and international staff, with our counselors and recovery coaches from South Africa, United States, United Kingdom and Europe. All clinical staff members have immense experience in addiction treatment and rehabilitation. 

The social structure and stigma around addiction in the Middle-East can be inconvenient for those seeking treatment in anonymity. Solace Asia is here to assist you, or your loved ones in treating this illness with care, compassion and utmost privacy. Upon completion of treatment, Solace Asia will provide a set of tools as a means of sustainable recovery, for your continued betterment. This is to ensure that you are able to handle life without returning to drugs. For more information on our treatment, call us.

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