Explainer: Egypt's 'You Can, Without It' campaign continues to prevent drug addiction relapse

Amr Kandil , Tuesday 11 Jul 2023

The Ministry of Health in Egypt has re-launched its 'You Can, Without It' campaign for the fifth year to aid recovered drug users in avoiding relapse, given the reported decrease in drug abuse in the country.

File photo: Part of the sports activities held by the Ministry of Health and Population to support those who recovered from drug addiction. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Health and Population


As part of the 100 Healthy Days nationwide check-up campaign, the initiative urges recovering addicts to steer clear of activities and places that may trigger drug abuse.

The initiative offers leisure, cultural, artistic, sports, and religious activities within and beyond hospitals and health centres that treat drug addiction.

The campaign is executed in 16 governorates across 23 hospitals and health centres under the General Secretariat for Mental Health and Addiction Treatment.

The campaign urges recovered addicts to have drug-free summer vacations.

As part of its 2023 plan, the Ministry of Health has increased drug treatment capacity by 15 percent.

The Ministry launched Demira Hospital for Mental Health's first addiction treatment division, with 65 beds.

Aswan Hospital for Mental Health and Addiction Treatment has an internal division of the rehabilitation department with 31 beds, while Khanka Hospital for Mental Health and Addiction has a dual diagnosis department with 57 beds.

To broaden its addiction treatment services for adults and adolescents, the ministry runs night clinics across various governorates.

The ministry has opened six-night clinics for adolescents and five for adults across Cairo, Minya, Sohag, Aswan, Menoufiya, Beni Suef, Alexandria, and Assiut.

Saying no to drugs

Egypt has reduced drug abuse and addiction rates by 50 percent from 2015 to 2020, approaching global norms, due to its increased anti-drug efforts as reported by the Egyptian Fund for Drug Control and Treatment of Addiction (FDCTA).

Last April, FDCTA Director Amr Othman stated that drug addiction in Egypt is at 2 percent.

Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine El-Qabbaj reported in June that drug abuse among school buses in Egypt has reduced from 12 percent in 2017 to 0.3 percent in the 2022/23 school year.

El-Qabbaj revealed in May that drug abuse among public employees has decreased from 8 percent in 2019 to 1 percent in 2022 of those who were tested.

After a six-month grace period given to employees for confidentially reporting addiction and receiving free treatment, Egypt began enforcing an Anti-Drug Law on public employees in 2021.

Those who test positive for drugs can face suspension or termination of employment under the law.

Egypt launched the renowned 'You are Stronger than Drugs' campaign in 2015, featuring football star Mohamed Salah, to encourage individuals to combat drug abuse and seek addiction treatment.

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