Premarital drug test ‘useless’

Updated 30 January 2014
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Premarital drug test ‘useless’

The drug addiction test initiated by the Health Ministry for prospective brides and grooms has proved useless as it fails to gauge addiction levels and thus determine marriage eligibility, a top official has said.
Mohammed Al-Saeedi, the Health Ministry’s director-general for Combating Chronic and Hereditary Diseases, said the test, made mandatory following reports of widespread drug use among Saudi youth, does not effectively address addiction.
“Conclusions about the test were reached by scientific committees and government departments,” he said.
Saudis account for over 54 percent of drug users in the Kingdom and drug addiction among women has increased by 20 percent during the past few years, according to a report. It states that 55 percent of drug addicts are between 19 and 30.
“This is a cause for major concern. The ministry has found that addicts tend to abstain from taking drugs prior to getting married so they can pass drug tests. Once married, however, they return to their drug addiction,” said Al-Saeedi.
He pointed out that the program was launched by the ministry in 2005.
More than 2.5 million addiction tests have been carried out so far within the framework of this initiative, he said.
He said that members of the public have responded favorably to the test, but that it fails to account for the loophole that many have resorted to using in order to pass the test.
Al-Saeedi said that the program is being run in 130 centers, 91 labs and 80 check-up clinics and is manned by 1,120 health care specialists.
“The program was founded as a preventive mechanism against chronic and hereditary diseases, which bear a heavy financial and emotional cost, ” he said.
“However, the program is succeeding in its mission with peoples’ cooperation,” said Al-Saeedi.
A study conducted by the Ministry of Interior indicated the existence of 204,000 male and female drug addicts in the Kingdom. Female addicts account for 20 percent of these cases.


Kingdom's anti-corruption chief leads Saudi delegation at UN General Assembly

Dr. Khalid bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Muhaisen, president of Nazaha and head of the Saudi delegation, will stress the Kingdom’s anti-corruption efforts locally and internationally. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 May 2018
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Kingdom's anti-corruption chief leads Saudi delegation at UN General Assembly

  • The meeting will be attended by UNGA President Miroslav Lajcak, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Yuri Fedotov, executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia, represented by a delegation from the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha), will take part on Wednesday in a high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to mark 15 years since the adoption of the UN Convention against Corruption. 

The meeting will be attended by UNGA President Miroslav Lajcak, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Yuri Fedotov, executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

The opening session will discuss the most notable developments and best practices in the application of the UN Convention against Corruption, which has been adopted by 184 countries, including Saudi Arabia. The meeting will conclude with a speech by Lajcak.

Dr. Khalid bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Muhaisen, president of Nazaha and head of the Saudi delegation, will stress the Kingdom’s anti-corruption efforts locally and internationally.