While Oman has strict laws regarding the consumption and sale of drugs and alcohol, problems of abuse and addiction are still found throughout the country. This is despite the fact that Omani law doesn’t distinguish between hard or soft drugs and that imprisonment or the death penalty may apply to those who are caught. In addition to this, residents require a licence to consume alcohol within their homes and cannot drink out in public (apart from permitted hotels and restaurants). Al Arabiya reports that there has also been a call to ban alcohol completely although this has yet to be implemented by the national government.
Drug and Alcohol Use in Oman
Due to its taboo nature and the fact that this is just a developing healthcare area, there are few hard figures about the number of people consuming drugs and alcohol in Oman. There are some statistics on the number of abuse cases however. For instance, the WHO estimated that 0.37% and 0.02% of males suffered from alcohol and drug use disorders respectively in 2004. These numbers were based on statistical models however since there was no vital registration data available.
In 2007, the Treatment Center of Addiction in Oman treated 384 people for alcohol dependence and 1,000 people for drug use disorders and drug dependence. Y Oman reports that this is the only rehab centre in the country pointing out that these figures are only the known cases treated there. In reality, there could be many more suffering in private. Between 2006 and 2011, the Omani Ministry of Health officially registered 424 cases of alcohol abuse, a much lower rate (approximately 70 per year) than was reported by the Treatment Center of Addiction.
New Options for Rehab in Oman
With the steady rise of both alcohol and drug-related disorders in the country, Omani politicians and medical professionals have expressed their concern saying there is a need for a wider availability of treatment options. Gulf News writes that the Minister for Health, Dr Ahmad Bin Mohammad Al Saeedi, has said the country needs to build drug rehab centres in all of its 11 governorates. At the time, Ibn Sina Hospital was Oman’s only facility and treated a total of 3,651 addicts in 2011. He proposed a five-year plan for the development of hospitals and treatment centres throughout the country.
As for alcoholism, the Treatment Centre of Addiction was the only option available for many years. In 2014 however, Petroleum Development Oman announced it was going to build a rehab centre for drug and alcohol abusers in Al Amerat as a part of its Corporate Social Responsibility programme. While this will help with the 4% rise in the number of alcohol-related cases that has occurred in Oman since 2010, much more needs to be done.
Rehabilitation Alternatives for Omani Residents
With even moderate levels of drug and alcohol abuse in Oman, it is not surprising that some people choose to look overseas for rehabilitation. With limited facilities in the country’s developing mental healthcare field, international standards of care are hard to come by. That is, unless the individual checks into a retreat such as Camino Recovery.
We are located on the Andalusian Coast in Southern Spain an hour away from the seaside town of Malaga. Offering a private, tranquil setting equipped with modern facilities and an experienced team of clinical staff, we provide an excellent opportunity for Omanis to break free from addiction in an environment tailored specifically for this purpose.
Customised Programmes for Each Individual
Our team is experienced in a range of treatments including cognitive behavioural therapy, group therapy and equine assisted psychotherapy. We will combine these into a programme suited to your current condition and individual aims. Together, we will get to the root of your addiction, helping you seek out the cause of your drug or alcohol problems while avoiding any negative thoughts and behaviour which may lead to relapse.
As we are located close to Malaga Airport, flights from Muscat will be 11 to 15 hours depending on where you transfer. Airlines include Turkish, Lufthansa and Swiss. On arrival at the airport, one of our drivers will pick you up and take you to Camino Recovery. There, you can check into your own private villa and commence your personalised rehab program. We aim for long-term recovery, allowing you to return to Muscat with a more balanced frame of mind so you can live a normal life without slipping back into bad habits and the old routine.