Dr. Abd al-Rahman Yahya al-Qahtani, a health promotion and health awareness expert and journalist, confirmed to Al-Watan that Shabu is a highly addictive substance that affects analysis and decision-making centers in the brain, weakens impulse control, and may lead to engaging in reckless and dangerous behaviors such as violence, murder, rape, etc. It is called paranoid, which gives the user a feeling of persecution, surveillance, and threat. Al-Qahtani said that its use may lead to infection of the body with AIDS infection and viral hepatitis as a result of the use of contaminated syringes of abuse if used intravenously, and it also leads to severe auditory and visual hallucinations and depression and affects the functions of the kidneys and the heart and blood vessels.
Regarding shabu, which has been shed a lot of light during the current period, Al-Qahtani said that it is a substance from the family of methamphetamine drugs, and it is a stimulant drug that may lead to rapid addiction from the first doses of its use. Emphasizing that studies and research on the use of shabu, its prevalence and causes in the Kingdom are very rare, as is the case with other drugs, indicating that, in general, research and surveys concerned with the size of the drug problem, its abuse and its impact on the health, security, social and economic dimensions are still very limited at the national level. , demanding that it be at the center of the priorities of national drug control strategies.
Al-Qahtani revealed that one of the studies conducted in the city of Jeddah demonstrated an increase in the number of deaths related to methamphetamine abuse (shabu) by 500% during the period from 2016 to 2018, as it was referred to in a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime last year, and he added that although This study was limited, but it warns of the seriousness of the situation with regard to this type of drug, stressing that this does not mean at all that the harm of other types of drugs is reduced.
Al-Qahtani thanked the wise leadership for its close and direct interest in combating drugs, which is witnessing an unprecedented huge movement during the current period. In the context of preventive and awareness programs concerned with confronting drugs, Al-Qahtani demanded the necessity of evaluating these programs and initiatives and finding out the extent to which they achieve their goals and make an actual impact on society, and stressed that they are in dire need of participatory and sustainable institutional work in which all security, health, social, educational, media and other sectors participate, including community involvement. and empowerment, appreciating all the efforts concerned with this.
Al-Qahtani added that one of the most prominent challenges of these programs is that they are significantly lacking in sustainable work based on the so-called “evidence-based approach”, conducting a careful analysis of the target group and knowing its behavioral, cognitive and psychological characteristics towards drugs, and knowing the risk factors leading to abuse and their justifications, and the behaviors and characteristics of abusers.
He added that one of the most prominent strategies that give a greater impact in preventive and awareness programs is to focus on the so-called “life skills”, including teaching the skill of rejection, the skill of critical thinking of such behaviors that threaten the individual, in addition to the skills of self-affirmation, and therefore it is not enough to simply provide information about Drug damage, but this must be accompanied by the promotion of these life skills, and the definition of protective and risk factors, with the involvement of the family and the health, education and media system according to an integrated and comprehensive methodology, which is called for by many international and scientific organizations, including the World Health Organization, and the Office of the United Nations United States on Drugs and Crime.