IntroductionThereare growing drug abuse and addiction problems spreading wide across SaudiArabia. Saudi Arabia has conveyed the highest number of amphetamine seizures inthe world.
Alcohol is frowned upon just as much as drug use andeven banned entirely in countries such as Saudi Arabia. The most consistently misuseddrugs in the Middle East are opium, stimulants and marijuana. Thereare remarkably firm penalties involved if you get caught smuggling or selling alcoholor drugs in Saudi Arabia.
However, fenethylline remains prevalent mainly inSaudi Arabia, where more Captagon is used than in any other country in theworld. “In November, the Saudi Interior Ministry announced authorities hadseized 22.4 million amphetamine tablets within the last year, in addition to28.8 tons of cannabis and over 57 pounds of heroin.”(Breitbart, 2017).CaptagenThemajor used drug in Saudi Aarbia, Captagen, is the brand name for the syntheticstimulant, fenethylline. “In 2011, the last year for which figures wereavailable, the Saudi kingdom seized a whopping 11 tons of amphetamines,predominantly Captagon, up from nine tons in 2010.”(Hilleary, C.
2015). Thisdrug is specially consumed for its euphoric effect as well as the effect it hason increasing libido. There is an extensive history of drug use when it comes towar times. The ancient Greeks, Vikings, U.S. Civil War soldiers and the Nazisall depended on drugs such as mushrooms, morphine and methamphetamines, which wasused to help them get through the terrors of war.
The holy grail that they all goafter is a drug that gives you bravery and Captagon comes quite close to providingthis. It doesn’t give you grander courage, but rather it impairs your judgmentwith adrive to keep going so you don’t think about the fears you may have.Drugdealing and smuggling is a capital crime in Saudi Arabia. Despite this fact, SaudiArabia is considered the leading market for smuggling Captagon. “Theprice for a box of 200,000 Captagon pills ranges between $550,000 to $600,000in Saudi Arabia.” (Hilleary, C. 2015).
This gives the market significant revenuebecause the production cost is rather small. Established in Germany, Captagen cameto the market to treat sleep and attention disorders. This drug became highlyaddictive and was banned throughout most of the world. Truck drivers with lengthytrips use it to stay awake. Students will use the drug when late night crammingfor exams. Captagen is easier to hide.
It is not as easily recognized and noteveryone knows how to distinguish it. Something as easy as a syringe or cocainepowder is much easier to detect. Pills can all run together and look the same.
Similarto any of the other drugs such as heroin and cocaine, possessing and trading itcould lead to the death penalty. Drug use turns into an addiction problem andleads to organ failure with damage to the nervous system, and can lead to death.Peoplein need of help for an addiction are cautious to ask for help in fear of showingtheir sins because drug use is banned. This is one reason why the government is lookingto embark on a nationwide education campaign pointed at the youth of thecountry. It is also why they are strengthening security efforts to break the movement.If it continues, we could be looking at a damaged generation full of addicts.
AlcoholSaudiArabia has an absolute prohibition on alcohol. It is illegal to produce,import, and/or consume it. The huge majority of alcoholavailable is of the homebrewed collection. There are no legal barsin Saudi Arabia where alcohol can be purchased.
There are also no real opportunitiesfor treatment for alcoholics in Saudi Arabia. Any individual who wishes to treattheir addiction will have to deal with it on their own or travel outside fortreatment. There is little known about the extent of alcoholism among people inSaudi Arabia. The most often consumed alcohol in Saudi Arabia is calledsiddiqi or “sid.” This differs instrength and is unquestionably heavier than what we have here in the UnitedStates. One can associate it to the power of moonshine in alcohol content. “Sid”can have strength of 90% alcohol and contain impurities. With drinking thesestrong spirits, this is why alcohol poisoning is common among the people.
Punishment”InOctober 2015, Lebanese authorities arrested a Saudi prince at the Beirutairport after two tons of cocaine and Captagon pills, which sell for roughly$20 per pill in Saudi Arabia, were found on a private plane.” (Gidda, M. 2017).Violators of trafficking and abusing drugs in this country hold a harshpunishment. Offenders can be put in jail, beaten, or even publicly executed.Rape,murder, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all capital offenses which canhold the death penalty under Saudi Arabia’s version of Sharia law. Saudi Arabiais one of the rare countries with no black and white on criminal disciplinarycodes. Rules are so imprecise that it is often unclear what exact acts institutecrimes.
Treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicted people is difficultbecause of stigmatization. Treatment is rare and the commondrug abusers do not talk about their addiction. Border security is an area of concern andofficials are addressing the concern through further training and physicalbarriers. There are large drug seizures frequently reported by the media. Therewere at least 63 people executed in 2015 for drug trafficking. Punishment for the smuggling, production,possession, and consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs are severe.
Theoffenders can look at jail time, fines, public lashing, deportation, or execution.Border inspections at entry points are comprehensive and active in finding anyviolators. Drug SmugglingNewsmedia in Saudi Arabia often tell short stories about seizures of contraband. Evenwith the severe penalties it carries, drug traffickers persistently pursue to sneakpast the authorities, hiding illegal drugs in fresh fruit, furniture, children’sthings, vehicles, as well as bodily cavities. This year Saudi Arabia executedthree Pakistani people for smuggling heroin. The three had been found smugglingheroin in their stomachs into the country. In other news, teams seized over600,000 methamphetamine pills in two separate operations.
Five people, three Saudinationals and two Syrians were among the arrested for drug smuggling. Someof the drugs attempting to be smuggled were concealed in capsules that were removedfrom the stomach of one of the people, other drugs were found in a nook in onetheir shoes and others were packed in a food box in one of the smuggler’s bags.There have also been attempts to smuggle Captagen in on many occasions. Oneattempt in particular, being more than 24,000 pills that a passenger on anairplane attempted to conceal in their belt. The awful sideof the drug smuggling problem in Saudi Arabia is that the poorest people are trappedby the powerful drug lords and forced to consume small bags holding the drugs.In some cases, some of them are kidnapped and directly obligated to become drugmules. Even with heightened security efforts and reinforced border patrols,smugglers still attempt hiding from the law in order to sneak past with thegoods. ConclusionWithan increased supply of drugs into Saudi Arabia, there is a consistent demandthat the growing supply can fulfill.
The size of drugs coming into the country isseen increasing year to year. The demand for these illegal drugs and alcoholare seen contributing to the rising problem of addiction throughout the Arabregion. SaudiArabia prides itself on its harsh punishment and stance on drug use and itsreligious face to the world, but underneath the surface everything is obtainableat the right price and most people turn the other way when the acts take place.Evenwith the strict law and the hefty penalties for violating it, alcohol and manyother illegal drugs are available in Saudi Arabia. The question is, where doyou find it?