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CAIRO, Aug 13 , 2018 (MENA) - Authorities at Alexandria Port thwarted on Monday an attempt to smuggle 15 million pills of banned drugs into the country. 

The pills were discovered hidden in a shipment of household utensils coming from a foreign country.

All legal measures were taken and the contraband pills were seized.

Cairo, July 31, 2018 -- THE Minister of Social Solidarity, Ghada Wali, told a press conference on Tuesday that drug addiction must be tackled through creative means, such as using the power of art and media in raising social awareness of  the problem.

 The conference was held to announce the second season of the Arab Short Films Competition for combating drug addiction. The competition also encourages Arab writers to produce  short videos with a clear message on the problem of addiction.

 The competition is launched in co-operation with the Fund for Drug Control and Treatment of Addiction (FDCTA) and Mentor Arabia, an NGO for youth empowerment.

 According to recent studies, the content of media and art are basic sources of information for youth on addiction.

 The Minister said that 38 awareness campaigns had been launched since January 2017 to raise awareness of drug addiction.The campaigns targeted rural areas.

 A campaign named, '' You are Stronger than Drugs,'' was also launched with the participation of a number of artists and the famous football player, Mohammed Salah.

 It caused a 400 per cent rise in calls to the rehabilitation hotline 16023. The Manager of Mentor Arabia, Thorya Ismail, said that Mentor Arabia was very appreciative of its co-operation with the Ministry of Social Solidarity.

 She said that the institution was keen on taking part in eliminating drug addiction. It was, she said, a matter of one dollar allocated for raising awareness among the youth versus 18 dollars paid out on drug treatment.

  Government bodies in all the Arab countries, she said, had become open to finding  solutions for the problem and this encouraged NGOs to co-operate in fighting drug addiction.












By Amina Abdul Salam

People take a number of drugs for their health problems and it is almost certain that all useful drugs will produce unwanted effects. In addition to the excessive pharmacological impact of the drug due to overdosing or prolonged use, drugs can be toxic and sometimes kill.

Drug toxicity is due to a dose of medicine the patient’s body can not bear. Any dose prescribed to a patient is calculated according to the patient's age, weight and the disease he has, according to Dr Mayssa Shawki, Professor of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Cairo University.

This is how the dose is calculated for him. But if the patient takes an overdose of the drug or uses it constantly it can have a negative impact on his liver or kidney and his body in general. In this case, the drug becomes toxic.

Dr Shawki said that there was a category of patients who may suffer from liver or renal failure or both. In that case, the usual dose of medicine could harm them.
Therefore the dose must be adjusted to suit their state of health.

There are also patients who take medicines constantly without a doctor checking on them. They may have recovered completely from whatever they were suffering from and didn’t need to take the medicine. In such a case, the drug may have become toxic for them.

Dr Shawki stressed the importance of people who take medicines visiting their doctor once a month to know if they should continue to take the medicine or stop taking it. For example, there is a phenomenon known as polypharmacy. It is particularly widespread among elderly people.

It is the use of several medicines concurrently by an individual. But when the medicines are used unnecessarily, polypharmacy can have adverse effects, especially on elderly people. Some people take medicines without the instructions of a doctor.

These medicine can be toxic for them. They can also be the cause of suicide, Dr Shawki said, stressing once again that every dose of any drug is prescribed to the patient according to his or her age, weight and the disease involved.

She pointed out that obesity is a major health problem in Egypt and is the main factor in many chronic diseases such as hypertension, heart disease and cancer. There are, she said, unlicensed drugs on sale at some doctors’ clinics, or, perhaps, smuggled from abroad to overcome obesity.

These medicines are a major danger for patients with hypertension or cardiac disease or diabetes who want to get rid of their obesity.

To help combat the illegal production and use of drugs, Dr Shawki recommended that care should be taken in disposing of unwanted or out-of-date medicines and their packaging.

The medicines themselves and their packaging – bottles, boxes, wrappings and labels – should be destroyed before being thrown away with the rest of the household garbage so that they cannot be reused. She also stressed the importance of keeping medicines out of the reach of children.