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The Growing Use of Drugs: An Imminent Danger for Kuwait

Data recently shared by Kuwaiti authorities point to a growing phenomenon of drug use across the country. This dangerous trend warrants our careful attention, as it must be recognized and addressed. Today, there are about 20,000 drug addicts in Kuwait, according to health authorities. Of course, this figure doesn’t capture “casual” drug users who consume common drugs like cannabis. There is no doubt that the Kuwaiti government made important efforts to curb the use of drugs, but the government’s role must be greater and more pronounced given the severity of this trend. Kuwait’s health authorities must be transparent about the magnitude of this problem, and Kuwait’s citizens must be informed, on a daily basis, about the initiatives and actions taken to combat drug use in society. Some examples of such activities might include cracking down on drug dealers, eliminating drug distribution networks, and passing legislation that would discourage people from using drugs. In this context, the government’s efforts should lean on expertise and experience gained in other countries. Indeed, the government should cooperate with other nations to fight drug traffickers in the region and prevent the flow of drugs into Kuwaiti markets. The penalties surrounding drug use should also be tightened and stiffened, as is the case in some countries where the punishment for those facilitating the sales of drugs can even reach the death penalty. In addition, the government must launch educational campaigns that raise awareness of the dangers associated with drug use and warn young people of its dire consequences. Similarly, employers should carry out drug tests as a part of their hiring process, in order to dissuade workers from using drugs. Government ministries can also enact drug tests as a precondition to receiving public services, including things like a driver’s license or a marriage license. These are all procedures and actions that will contribute to significantly reducing the use of drugs. It is also possible to enact legislation that would allow Kuwait’s border authorities to test newcomers and ensure that they don’t have a history of drug use. Drug use is foreign to Kuwait’s values and traditions, and it cannot accept the spread of this phenomenon among its people in any way. –Issa Al-Amiri (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)