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Review Article

IJMDC. 2019; 3(12): 204-209

Substance abuse among Saudi population

Fatimah Mohammed Al-Jerani, Ethar Ahmed Al-Basry, Heba Aldawood, Zakia Ahmed Almudhry, Norah Muteb Alshammari, Hawraa Busaleh.

Substance abuse is a significant problem worldwide affecting the health of the individuals and has a negative impact on their relationship with society creating an economic burden on the government. There are limited studies regarding substance abuse in Saudi Arabia and its side effects as most of the cases remain un-reported. In this review, we reviewed 38 studies done among the Saudi population targeting seven substances including tobacco, alcohol, Khat, cannabis, amphetamine, cocaine and opioids to estimate the approximate prevalence of these substance abuse in Saudi Arabia. The most common substance abused was tobacco followed by amphetamines, while Khat consumption was found most common in the southern region of Saudi Arabia. Alcohol consumption was one of the substances whose prevalence was found much underrated in Saudi Arabia. Hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, depression and anxiety were the most common comorbidities associated with alcohol consumption. Cannabis usage was found more common in adolescents than adults and it has physical and psychological symptoms. The presence of psychotic symptoms among drug users varied depending on the severity of its abuse. Substance abuse was more common in young males due to peer pressure, which was found as the main causative factor.

Key words: Substance abuse, tobacco, khat, amphetamine, Saudi Arabia

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