International football player Mohammed Salah has helped raise the number of Egyptians who are seeking help for drug addiction to 116,500 this year, the Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali has revealed.
This is a 12 per cent increase from the number of those who benefitted a government helpline to tackle the issue last year, she added.
Wali said that the demand for treatment increased, in particular after a media campaign was launched in April with the participation of Liverpool footballer Salah.
Say NO to drugs!
أنت أقوي من المخدرات… pic.twitter.com/6tJYRpBPc0
— Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) March 31, 2018
Ninety-seven per cent of those seeking treatment were men.
Cairo had the largest number of people calling the hotline; making up 21.7 per cent of callers.
According to statistics, peer pressure to try drugs was the main factor which began people on the path to addiction. Some 54.8 per cent of callers said they were introduced to drugs through friends, while only 8.6 per cent said they had dabbled in drugs out of curiosity at first. A similar percentage, 8.4 per cent, said they tried drugs after feeling alienated from their families, while 4.1 per cent were led to believe they could help alleviate health conditions they were suffering from.