Powdered cocaine - Reuters
CAIRO – 2 August 2017: Ghada Waly, the Minister of Social Solidarity and Chairman of the Board of the Fund for Combating and Treatment of Addiction and Abuse, said that the Fund's ‘16023’ hotline received 37,322 phone calls during the first six months of this year; an average of 206 calls per day.
Ninety two percent of the calls (30,373) included requests for treatment, while 8 percent of the calls (11725) asked for follow-up and advice by the patients themselves and their relatives. The total received calls during 2017 were double the received calls during the first six months of 2016.
This confirmed the success of the recent media campaign, along with the reception of 48,969 patients in hospitals collaborating with the hotline, including 11725 new patients and 37244 patients following up.
The media campaign launched by the Fund Capacitor and carried out by Mohammed Salah, the Egyptian Liverpool football player, was released last Mother’s day, to show the effect of drugs on the abusers’ family and dreams.
Fifty six percent of callers discovered the hotline through television, 22 percent through the internet, and 7 percent through friends.
Waly reported that Cairo was the leading city with people calling in, followed by Giza and Alexandria.
She stressed that the hotline was both free and completely confidential through the hospitals and treatment centers partnered with the Hotline which have now reached a total number of 18 specialized hospitals or centers to fight drug addiction. As well as two more branches to be opened in Mansoura and Al-Sharqia.
Waly also identified that the leading drug causing addiction in Egypt is the well known, “tramadol” followed by hash and heroin.
She says the high percentage of hash-addicted callers shows that hash can be addicting, contrary to popular belief.
The hotline also received telephone calls from patients using new materials such as estrox, which reached 779 calls at 3 percent, followed by 479 calls for voodoo users.
Most callers were between the ages of 20-30 years old, followed by callers who were between 15-20 years old. 30-40 year olds showed the lowest percentage.
This year showed a drastic increase of addicts calling in themselves to ask for treatment as opposed to the previous years where mainly the families of the addicts were calling in for assistance.
These numbers inspire hope that Egypt is moving forward to a more drug-free era.
The hotline’s number is 16023 and is available 24 hours a day