Opioid Crisis Grips Gaza Strip

Cheap tramadol pills smuggled into Gaza have set off an opioid crisis among the area's masses of unemployed youth.
It’s hard to measure the scope of the problem in Gaza, “a conservative society of 2 million where it is considered shameful to admit to such a problem,” writes Fares Akram. But the WHO estimated 10,047 males over age 15 were “high-risk drug users” in 2017. Fadel Ashour, a psychiatrist at Gaza’s al-Azhar University, believes the numbers are much higher—and rehab options are scarce.
Hope Center, Gaza’s first and only rehab facility, has treated 230 people since it opened in 2017. With just 15 beds, it doesn’t come close to meeting the need; doctors are calling for a national center with more capacity.


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