Egypt's anti-addiction hotline receives 1,400 calls during Eid Al-Fitr

Ahram Online , Monday 1 May 2023

During the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, the hotline of Egypt's National Fund for Drug Control and Treatment of Addiction, operating under the Ministry of Social Solidarity, received 1,400 phone calls from addiction patients seeking treatment



The increasing number of calls received during the Eid Al-Fitr holiday reflects a growing trust in the hotline's services, resulting in higher recovery rates and reduced relapses, the Ministry of Social Solidarity said. 

The ministry reported that 94.4 percent of the callers were male, while 5.5 percent were female.

The hotline also received calls during the Eid holiday from recovering addicts who expressed a desire to return to drug use after recovery, highlighting the challenges individuals face on their path to long-term rehabilitation.

During the holiday period, the National Fund for Drug Control and Treatment of Addiction implements preventive measures known as the "Protecting the Recovered" program to safeguard individuals in the early stages of recovery, as holidays and vacations are particularly risky for those still undergoing treatment.

Among the callers during the holiday period, 33 percent were employed in the private and public sectors; they identified substance abuse as an important reason for their inability to work due to deteriorating health.

The hotline, 16023, continues to be available for employees struggling with drug use, providing free and confidential treatment services to those voluntarily seeking help. Such individuals will suffer no legal consequences if they seek help before workplace inspections and drug tests.

Operating throughout official holidays and occasions, the hotline offers therapeutic services, counselling, follow-up, and psychological support to addiction patients and recovering addicts while focusing on minimizing relapses.

The determination centres affiliated with the National Fund for Drug Control and Treatment of Addiction and with partner centres collaborate with the hotline to deliver these services. Egypt has 28 treatment centres across 17 governorates.

Dr Amr Osman, Assistant Minister of Social Solidarity and Director of the National Fund for Drug Control and Treatment of Addiction, highlighted the role played by parents and siblings in contacting the hotline and stressed the importance of family support and early detection of addiction.


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