As one of the Middle East’s most progressive cities, Dubai has both a positive and negative side when it comes to drug and alcohol especially in the field of addiction and rehabilitation. Consumption is higher than in other Gulf Countries due to a number of factors including a populated expat scene and the city being a hub for drug trafficking. The government is more open about the problem however and is making strides to tackle the issue. Despite this, strict laws may still present some problems for local addicts who need help or advice.
Drug & Alcohol Consumption in Dubai
While there are no official statistics on drug and alcohol usage given by the Dubai government, other sources indicate just how serious the problem currently is. Research firm, Euromonitor, states that there has been a 30% increase in alcohol consumption in the UAE over the past five years. The WHO also estimates that 0.6% of the population aged 15 years and up while 0.1% are heavy episodic drinkers.
In his study, Narcotic Drugs in Dubai: Lurking in the Shadows, Philip Robins writes that Dubai authorities estimate between 10% and 20% of the local population uses illicit drugs. This number includes 15,000 to 30,000 nationals without counting the teenagers and children who consume as well. This excluded group is mentioned in a report by the Ministry of Interior which suggests that children as young as 10 are using.
The National Rehabilitation Centre reports that 5% of deaths in the UAE were attributed to either drugs or alcohol. These figures emerge despite the country’s tough anti-drug laws which include deporting expat users and dealers. The National writes that there were 231 drug-related cases heard in Dubai courts from September 2008 to April 2009 alone. Drug seizures also increased by 39% in 2009.
Local Rehab Options in Dubai
The NY Times reports that Dubai officials are trying to push past local stigma with regards to drug and alcohol abuse by openly discussing the problem in public. There are also a number of government-run centres in operation, including the National Rehabilitation Centre, which can be used to treat first-time offenders. Unfortunately, these are only open to UAE citizens, a group which makes up only 20% of the total population.
Other options are also available although these are limited when compared to western countries. The National reports that Ownak, a centre in Al Khawaneej, has been opened to deliver a long-term recovery alternative to prevent relapse by alcohol and drug addicts. This again aims to serve citizens however. One association, Dose of Hope, assists both Emiratis and expats although their services are limited to those incarcerated in Dubai’s prisons.
Other Choices for Dubai’s Addicts
Those in Dubai who cannot find help in the city’s rehab centres or who are afraid to seek support due to the harsh local laws can find assistance by booking into an overseas rehabilitation retreat instead. Camino Recovery is open to everyone from Dubai, offering international standards of care in an environment that is optimised for your full recovery.
We are located on the Andalusian Coast in Spain an hour from the airport in Malaga. Our multi-disciplinary team has more than 80 years of combined experience in treating drug and alcohol addiction as well as any mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or trauma which may cause these negative lifestyle habits. There is no social stigma here only a team looking to provide patients with the support they need to turn their lives around and resume a healthy lifestyle on their return to Dubai.
Effective Treatment for Emirati Addicts
Since our retreat is located overseas, you needn’t tell your friends, family and colleagues that you are flying here for rehab. Simply think of this as a holiday to one of Spain’s most popular seaside locations which just so happens to include treatment tailored to your drug and alcohol addiction.
With treatment such as group therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and equine assisted psychotherapy, we will get to the root cause of your problems and help form a mental balance that ensures you stay sober over the long-term.
Flights from Dubai to Malaga take 10 or 11 hours depending on where you transfer. We will also pick you up at the airport on arrival and take you to our seaside retreat without hassle. Commence on the path to a healthier you by booking your plane tickets and checking into rehab at Camino Recovery in the near future.
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To start your journey towards recovery from addiction to alcohol, drugs, food, gambling or sex – and to address any associated issues such as depression, anxiety or trauma – speak to us in confidence today.
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