Qatar will build a new center to help residents with addiction problems, and is setting up a temporary facility in Al Rayyan to manage the people who need help now, the Supreme Council of Health has announced.
“The center will cater to all kinds of addictions including alcohol and drug, even though drug addiction is not a big problem here,” Dr. Mohammed al Thani, SCH’s public health director, told local media at a health care summit on Tuesday.
“In the future we also plan to have units for other types of addictions such as Internet, gambling and food (addiction to special kind of food) among the others.”
Interestingly, Qatar already has a facility that deals with many of these problems – the Alaween Social Rehabilitation Center, which opened in 2007 and treats addictions to alcohol, drug and Internet use, as well as deviant and unusual sexual behaviors.
It was founded in 2007, a year after officials spoke of a rising drug problem in the nation, which has yet to keep any hard and fast statistics on how many of its residents suffer from such addiction.
“Data about the number of people suffering from this problem are scattered and incomplete as many cases of drug addiction go unreported. Nationals perceive the problem as shameful,” an official from the Supreme Council of Family Affairs said in a 2006 article about plans for Alaween.
It appears the social stigma associated with drug use and other addictions persists today, as data remains difficult to obtain and officials continue to say the problem isn’t that serious.
Yet, the fact that a new facility is being constructed, and a temporary center erected in the interim, despite the existence of Alaween, indicates that a growing concern about a potentially growing problem.
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