Prevention of Substance Abuse in Egypt. Public Health Versus Mental Health Perspective

Nael Hasan

Hasan, Nael; Helwan; Loza, Nasser 2005-2006 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow, The Behman Hospital/ The Behman Hospital, Egypt

Youth in our population truly are facing many risks, such as substance abuse disorder, HIV and other infections and crimes related to drugs. Drug abuse has serious consequences in our lives, homes, schools, and communities. The World Health Organization has estimated that about 450 million people worldwide have mental and behavioral disorders (WHO 2001). The problem of substance abuse has been studied and is still being studied, and prevention science has made great progress, with identification of different risk factors that need preventive intervention as well as identification of high risk groups. The traditional primary, secondary and tertiary preventions are difficult to be applied in prevention of substance abuse, because the etiology of substance abuse is unknown, so preventive intervention for substance abuse and for mental disorders are currently applied with modification (Gordon, 1987). ??Universal interventions are targeted to the general population, and are not related to individual risk factors. ??Selective preventive interventions: are targeted to individuals or subgroups with higher than average risk and who are developing the disorder. ??Indicated preventive intervention: is targeted to high risk individuals, who have early signs or symptoms or biological markers of the disorder, but are not meeting the full diagnostic criteria of the disorder. The aim of the preventive programs is to reduce morbidity and mortality. In this paper we will talk about prevention principles, risk factors and protective factors, planning for drug abuse, prevention in the community, and supplying preventive principles to drug abuse treatment programs in Egypt as a developing country.

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North Africa
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