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The Challenges Of Treating Addiction In The Middle East

There are very different approaches around the world when it comes to the treatment of drug addictions. In North America as well as across most of the United Kingdom and Europe, the approach is one of treatment of a medical condition with underlying psychological issues.

There is much less of a stigma in most areas, communities, and families in the West today, but this was not always the case. However, as society moves to a greater understanding of the underlying issues behind the addiction, treatment options have evolved to be more patient-centred and in preparing people to move forward in life living addiction free.

In the Middle East, there is a different portrait of a person with an addiction. Throughout the region, there has been a long, historical intolerance towards the use of any type of drugs or alcohol, largely based on religious teaching. It is not just addiction that it condemned or illegal in these countries, it is possession or use of drugs or alcohol at any level.

Many countries in the Middle East jail suspected drug users for up to ten years for a first offense. Having a significant amount of drugs in their possession can label them as a trafficker, which can carry a lifetime prison sentence or, in some countries, an immediate death penalty.

However, it is not just the addict that is impacted by the addiction in these countries. Often the entire family is seen as somehow responsible. This can cause parents to disown children with addictions; siblings cease talking or contacting each other, and the entire family to ostracise the addict.

Lack of Support

This isolation and abandonment by the family in the individual's most vulnerable time is very difficult for addicts that wish to seek treatment. They don't feel they can talk to family members for fear of reprisal within the family unit.

Often the religious leaders are not seen as safe people to talk to as they are often the leaders in the community in driving the intolerance message about drugs and alcohol. Community support for people with addictions is very limited and, in some cases, those workers are targeted by groups within the community. This can limit the willingness of more moderate people to support those seeking treatment and recovery options.

Language Issues

The Middle East is a term that incorporates many different cultures and dialects. Some addicts that do make it to treatment centres may find challenges in working with trained drug and alcohol rehabilitation counsellors and therapist’s due to language barriers and challenges.

While there are some international agencies providing treatment, it can be limited to location, language and the scope of treatment options. In some treatment facilities, there are only very limited accommodations for patients within the facility, adding to the challenges of being able to relocate and receive treatment.

Private Treatment

For many addicts, private, one-on-one addiction recovery treatment with an addiction therapist offers an ideal treatment option. With full confidentiality, personalised and custom therapeutic interventions, these professionals can provide discrete and private treatment.

Using a holistic approach that incorporates the existing support network the client may have as well as effective addiction recovery methods, clients can recover and life a life addiction free. This can be done without having to attend an in-patient treatment centre, protecting their privacy throughout the process.

Our Central London Psychotherapy Approach


Just as a doctor considers more than the physical symptoms of a disease in developing treatment so do psychotherapists, counsellors, and other mental health professions that are truly informed. At our Central London offices all of our professionals use only this holistic approach to treatment because we believe it is the most effective and researched based option to use.     By using the holistic method we do not limit ourselves, our options, or our ability to create the best treatment plan possible for our clients. Instead, we are able to draw from all the schools of psychotherapy and holistic treatment to create an absolutely authentic and bespoke treatment plan for each of our clients. The plan can include methods and elements from psychotherapy, art therapy, hypnotherapyHealth Fitness Articles, counselling and a range of other possibilities.

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