In part because it is one of the more westernised Gulf Countries, Kuwait is now struggling with a serious nationwide drug and alcohol problem. Trends of addiction are on the increase due to a higher wealth per capita, strict law enforcement and a lack of entertainment options. During a 2002 seminar at Amiri Hospital in Kuwait City, it was suggested that 1% of the population, approximately 20,000 people, suffered from addiction. The main demographics were listed as those left traumatised after the Iraqi invasion as well as bored, affluent youths.
Developments in Kuwait’s Rehab Programmes
Prior to 2005, the only treatment offered for those addicted to drugs or alcohol in Kuwait was a government-run psychiatric hospital with 130 beds. A new facility, the Kuwait Psychological Medicine Hospital was opened after that with more than 200 beds available to those in need. This includes 3 court admission wards, 2 self-referrer wards and a female admission ward.
Drug and Alcohol Statistics in Kuwait
While there are no official government figures about drug and alcohol use in Kuwait, numerous studies have been conducted which shed some light on this subject. One paper showed that most patients being treated at the Kuwait Psychological Medicine Hospital were males with excessive unsupervised free time. Additionally, the WHO World Drug Report found that 16% of those treated for addiction in Kuwait used sedatives and tranquillisers. It also noted that cocaine use had decreased while ecstasy use remained constant from 2008 to 2009. Another study found that 6.2% of accidental deaths in Kuwait between 2003 and 2006 were caused by drug overdose. As for alcohol, the WHO estimated that 0.1 litres of alcohol was consumed per capita in the year, 2010.
Barriers to Addiction Treatment in Kuwait
The bad news is that many are reluctant to seek assistance at the main psychiatric hospital as they believe they will be labelled mentally ill as a result. This is despite the centre treating 1,336 inpatients and 2,875 outpatients in 2009.
As there are no official rehab centres available, there are few other options for those in need. Experts say that psychologists alone aren’t an effective measure for treating drug and alcohol addiction and have asked that the Kuwaiti government offer additional treatment facilities to combat this discrepancy. Associations such as Narcotics Anonymous which uses the 12-step programme and Bashayer al Khair which relies on an Islamic faith-based approach offer some assistance but a lot more needs to be done.
Another treatment deterrent is that the Kuwaiti government thinks addiction is shameful, criminal behaviour which should be stopped by force. Strict laws such as the complete ban on alcohol come with severe fines and possible prison sentences. In this environment, many addicts refuse to open up about these issues.
Alternative Rehab Choices for Kuwaitis
Due to the strict laws, lack of sufficient treatment options, and heavy stigma surrounding drug and alcohol use, many Kuwaitis seek help for their addiction at centres overseas. Camino Recovery is one such retreat, offering international standards of care on the Andalusian Coast in the south of Spain. We are found one hour from Malaga Airport which is about a twelve hour flight from Kuwait City. On arrival, you will be picked up by one of our personal drivers and taken straight to our seaside retreat.
A Personalised Rehabilitation Programme
Our team of clinical staff have more than 80 years of experience with drug and alcohol addiction and know how to put together a tailored treatment programme for all visiting patients. Using techniques such as cognitive behavioural therapy and equine assisted psychotherapy, we will help balance your mind and seek out the root cause of these negative habits. We also aim for long-term recovery and will teach you how to ensure a sober routine on your return to Kuwait.
A Complete Treatment Package
For those looking for effective care in a relaxing environment, checking into rehab here at Camino Recovery can be a smart choice. Our staff will help you break the chains of addiction in a setting that allows you to relax and unwind. Only a few minutes from some of Spain’s best beaches, this is a holiday that will really change your life. On return to Kuwait, you will be armed with all the mental skills you need to avoid falling back into old habits and lead a sober life from then on. By checking into our retreat, you will receive a comprehensive rehab package that delivers international quality standards of care in a truly non-judgemental setting.