Springfield, V.A. — In light of opiate addiction causing tens of thousands of deaths a year across the MENA region and the growing intersection between drugs and terrorism, Alhurra has produced a special hour-long documentary on the opioid epidemic and the growing rate of addiction in Middle Eastern nations. Opioid Crisis in the Middle East highlights the detrimental consequences of the use of opium, stimulants and marijuana in Middle Eastern societies grappling with intensifying drug problems—increased use, spread of drug-related diseases and growing linkages between drug production and smuggling and violent conflict and terrorism.
Travelling throughout the Middle East searching for emotional firsthand accounts, the show leaves no stone unturned to give viewers an in-depth look into the lives of those struggling with addiction amid little public or government attention to address drug use, discussion of which is social taboo. The program also sheds light on how drug production and trafficking have funded violent conflict and terrorist organizations. In Lebanon, for example, Hezbollah has protected the cultivation of marijuana and opium poppy in the Bekaa Valley. Whereas in Algeria, terrorist groups have come to recruit young people by offering them drugs.
In a special one-on-one interview, Professor Martin Makary, professor of surgery and health policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, offered a unique perspective on solutions to drug addiction and the opioid crisis and the prospects of partnership between US medical centers and Arab health care providers to improve prevention, intervention, and treatment programs and services for drugs addicts.
MBN is non-profit corporate media outlet financed by the U.S. government through a grant from U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), an independent federal agency. The USAGM serves as a firewall to protect the professional independence and integrity of the broadcasters.
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Contact Chams Eddin
Communications Specialist, Alhurra Television, Radio Sawa