Egypt Officials See Rise in Drug Addiction

Country's instability blamed


The Egyptian government says it is taking steps to battle drug addiction, especially among young people, which has escalated amid deepening social and economic problems since the 2011 uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak.

The young are "more easily influenced," said Amr Othman, the director of the organization for treatment of addiction and abuse. "They easily get into drugs and are sometimes pressed into drug trafficking."

A report by the National Council for Battling Addiction attributes increased substance abuse to the availability and affordability of street drugs, especially in "light of the security vacuum society is witnessing." Officials said a lack of police presence has allowed dealers to push new drugs onto the market.