Alcohol and Substance Abuse in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia : A Hospital –based Survey
Abstract The Government of Saudi Arabia has recognized and acknowledged substance abuse as a public health problem. As a result, specialized hospitals have been established in many regions to treat substance abuse. The prevalence of substance abuse was investigated using a sample of 197 patients at Al-Amal Hospital, Riyadh, during a period of four months starting from May to August in 2018. The mean age of patients in the study was 26.5 years. The proportion of patients based on substances abused were as follows: amphetamines (30.9%), cannabis (30.1%), ethyl alcohol (22.9%), alprazolam (5.1%), clonazepam (2.1%), tramadol (2.1%), heroin (1.3%), cocaine (0.4%) and pregabalin (0.4%). Patients who used a combination of two or more substances constituted 4.7%. The mean duration of abuse was 8.8 years for all the patients. Health organizations should raise awareness about these drugs and the risks associated with their abuse, especially among young people. By conducting more research and developing a better understanding of the problem, treatment could be made more effective.