Alcohol and Substance Abuse in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: A Hospital -based Survey

Abdulaziz A. Aldlgan, Israa J. Hakeem, Mohammed N. Alandes, Majidah M. Alfahmi


The Government of Saudi Arabia has recognized and acknowledged substance abuse as a public health problem. As a
result, specialized hospitals have been established in many regions to treat substance abuse. The prevalence of substance abuse was investigated using a sample of 197 patients at Al-Amal Hospital, Riyadh, during a period of four months starting from May to August in 2018. The mean age of patients in the study was 26.5 years. The proportion
of patients based on substances abused were as follows: amphetamines (30.9%), cannabis (30.1%), ethyl alcohol (22.9%), alprazolam (5.1%), clonazepam (2.1%), tramadol (2.1%), heroin (1.3%), cocaine (0.4%) and pregabalin (0.4%). Patients who used a combination of two or more substances constituted 4.7%. The mean duration of abuse was 8.8 years for all the patients. Health organizations should raise awareness about these drugs and the
risks associated with their abuse, especially among young people. By conducting more research and developing a better understanding of the problem, treatment could be made more effective.


Forensic science, Alcohol, Substance abuse, Hospital, Saudi Arabia

Full Text:



Bassiony, M., Substance use disorders in Saudi Arabia:review article. J Subst Use. 2013. 18(6): 450-466.

AlMarri, T. and Oei, T., Alcohol and substance use in the Arabian Gulf region: a review. Int J Psychol. 2009. 44(3): 222-33.

Overseas Security Advisory Council- U. S. Department of State, Saudi Arabia 2015 Crime and Safety Report Bureau of Diplomatic Security 2015. [Accessed 03 September 2019]; Available from

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World Drug Report 2018. Global Overview of Drug Demand and Supply. [Accessed 19 Febraury 2019]; Available from:

Office of Justice Programs- U.S. Department of Justice,Promising Strategies to Reduce Substance Abuse. 2000. [Accessed 27 December 2018]; Available from:

Council of the European Union, Regional Report on the Near East. 2013. [Accessed 19 November 2018]; Available from:

Osman, A., Substance abuse among patients attending a psychiatric hospital in Jeddah: A descriptive study. Ann Saudi Med. 1992. 12(3): 289-293.

Iqbal, N., Substance dependence. A hospital-based survey.Saudi Med J. 2000. 21(1): 51-57.

Al Nahedh, N., Relapse among substance-abuse patientsin Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 1999.

Qureshi, N. and Al-Habeeb, T., Sociodemographic Parameters and Clinical Pattern of Drug Abuse in Al-

Qassim Region--Saudi Arabia. Arab J Psychiatr. 2000.11(1): 10-21.

Al-Umran, K., Mahgoub, O. and Qurashi, N., Volatile substance abuse among school students of eastern Saudi Arabia. Ann Saudi Med. 1993. 13(6): 520-524.

Hafeiz, H., Socio-demographic correlates and pattern of drug abuse in Eastern Saudi Arabia. Drug

Alcohol Depend. 1995. 38(3): 255-259.

Iqbal, N., Problems with inpatient drug users in Jeddah. Ann Saudi Med. 2001. 21(3/4): 196-200.

Bassiony, M., Stages of progression in drug abuse involvement across generations in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.Neuroscience. 2008. 13: 37-40.

Ageely, H., Prevalence of Khat chewing in college and secondary (high) school students of Jazan region,Saudi Arabia. Harm Reduct J. 2009. 6(11): 1477-7517.

Abalkhail, B., Social status, health status and therapy response in heroin addicts. E Mediterr Health J. 2001.7(3).17. Hafeiz, H., Socio-demographic correlates and pattern of drug abuse in Eastern Saudi Arabia. Drug Alcohol Depend. 1995. 38(3): 255-259.

Kotrlik, J. and Higgins, C., Organizational research: Determining appropriate sample size in survey research appropriate sample size in survey research. Information Technology,Learning, and Performance J. 2001. 19(1): 43.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World Drug Report 2014. [Accessed 19 December 2018]; Available from

Santor, D., Messervey, D. and Kusumakar V., Measuring peer pressure, popularity, and conformity in adolescent boys and girls: Predicting school performance, sex-ual attitudes, and substance abus. J Youth Adolescence. 2000. 29 (2).

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, ANALYSIS OF DRUG MARKETS Opiates, cocaine, cannabis,

synthetic drugs. [Accessed 02 November 2018]; Available from:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.