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Egypt Drug Use Reaches ‘Disastrous’ Levels, Official Says

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March 25 (Bloomberg) -- Drug use in Egypt has reached “disastrous levels” and surpassed the international average, the state-run Middle East News Agency quoted the head of the Fund for Drug Control and Addiction Treatment as saying.

About 7 percent of the population uses drugs compared with 5 percent internationally, said Amr Othman, the fund’s chief. He linked the figures to weakness in the role of the family, too much free time and a desire for experimentation.

Egypt has endured rising violence and crime since the 2011 ouster of Hosni Mubarak, with security deteriorating after the police largely withdraw from the streets in the first days of the uprising. State media report near-daily seizures of drugs and weapons.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tarek El-Tablawy in Cairo at teltablawy@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net