On the Level – Muslims Addicted to Drugs

On the Level – Muslims Addicted to Drugs


Growing up in the streets of London, I’ve
seen some pretty dark things. From stories of drug abuse and sexual
violence, to gang culture and suicide. Most of these issues remain a taboo within
the Muslim community, but I want to explore these issues, how they affect Muslims, and what we can do to change them. In 2016, 3744 people died of drug poisoning, both from legal and illegal drugs. When it comes to drug-related deaths, 54% of them are related to opiate and opiate based drugs like heroin and morphine and things like that. And would you believe in this country 750,000 – that’s three-quarters of a million people everyday – use drugs. That’s a quarter of a million people in active drug abuse every single day in the UK. Phenomenal. So I want to find out more
about addiction, how does it affect people’s lives, how do they get into drugs in the first place, and more importantly, we as Muslims, what can we do as a community to help those suffering from drug addiction, and finally, in turn,
how can we stem the issue of stigma attached to the issue of drug addiction
and help those who are afflicted by this illness. While there aren’t detailed
statistics on drug addiction within the Muslim community, it’s important to
remember that being Muslim doesn’t make us immune from drug abuse. We’re on our way to meet a friend of mine. He’s kindly agreed to talk to us about his
experiences. He’s basically suffered from drug addiction most of his life on and off. He’s had periods of being clean but unfortunately he’s back in that situation where he’s relapsed and he’s living an active life of substance abuse. People always wonder like you know is it just a moral issue? Alot of these people have good morals but their morals then decline, because they’re so desperate and
in turn what happens is that they start compromising principles and
beliefs which they previously wouldn’t of. For instance they start doing criminal activity, whether it be stealing from family, whether it be shop lifting… and that’s where the whole criminal element comes in. Yo, can you hear me? We’re just driving to you now, we should be there about 15-20 minutes. I arranged to meet a friend of mine, under the condition of anonymity. He’s been an active drug user for quite some time now, and is currently addicted to heroin. We met in a suburban area of London
where you wouldn’t imagine that there were many drug addicts, but he told me that there were three drug dealers on this road alone. What age were you when you first tried drugs? You got into drugs at quite an early age – 14/15 years old – High School. What do you think are the real reasons for why you got involved in drugs and eventually live a life of a drug addict? What does it feel like when you take it,
what does it do for you? What’s the worst it’s ever been for you in terms of daily drug consumption, because I know obviously if you’re working, it must be a lot more tempting to spend more money on drugs then, right? How prevalent is this issue in the community? Everyone goes through ups downs in their faith, how much has it helped you? Have you found any help in the Muslim community – in terms of support – or how do you feel they treat drug addicts? It became clear to me that my friend’s drug addiction was less like a bad habit and more like a
disease that’s controlling him. It was also clear to me that he felt that he
had no support from Muslim institutions. This made me think about how we as the
Muslim community should deal with the drug abuse crisis and what we can do to help. I was just quite shocked at some of his
responses in regards to the frequency of drug use within like
society generally. He said it can affect anybody, it
doesn’t matter what background you’re from, whether they are
professional or whether they are unemployed, and at the same time even what he had mentioned about the area he lives in, because I said I was
looking around and it’s quite a nice residential area part of West London. Yet he was saying that there’s three drug dealers just on that one strip. We’ve had the perspective of a drug addict, so now we want to get a
professionals understanding. We want to go see a mental health professional who
deals with drug addicts and alcohol addicts and find out what her take is on the situation, in regards to how we can help people who suffer from drug
addiction going forward. Dr. Rozina Thaci is a qualified psychotherapist who
has worked with many patients from all backgrounds. She helps her patients deal with their addiction issues through various therapy programs including CBT –
cognitive behavioural therapy – and 12 steps. Dr. Rosina herself has treated many Muslims who are addicted to drugs and
alcohol. How widespread is the issue of substance abuse in your experience, and more specifically how prevalent is it in the Muslim community? It’s quite prevalent, and like I said we see it as a secondary cause of depression or
anxiety, and it’s really quite a lot in our practices, but I think we didn’t have
as much statistics about the Muslim community until now. Over the last ten years I can see lots of more Muslim patients from Muslim communities that
are coming forward. I believe that it’s a disease like any other diseases that exist, if someone has a heart attack or any diabetes or any other condition then
we would like to treat that and we support these people, we don’t put them in prison, we support them, we give help they need instead of judging them about why they have what they have. We don’t have much research about Muslim
communities because people don’t still come to us, so we need really to invest
you know more time into linking with the Mosques, with other
representatives of Muslim faith to help the committee to talk about that – not as
a shame – but it’s like a gain if we were coming forward and tackling the issues
to prevent these things happening. What do you see as the solution I suppose
both for society at large and more specifically the Muslim community?
If we are to try and tackle and deal with this issue of drug addiction? We need to come together and talk about this. It should start from families and
schools, when we go to the mosque, or everywhere so I think that is the
first thing that we need to do. Because I find sometimes it’s difficult to open up to go because we have the stigma attached but also we try to protect our
family members and we don’t want to reveal anything what has happened in the
families. I’ve seen their relationship of failing because of this I’ve seen people losing houses, and I’ve seen people in a kind of not being able to
support the children and children being taken away from them as well. To
support some of my clients have gone to the AA meetings with them, and I’ve seen the
age in a kind of range was from very young to an elderly person and I saw
he had lost the house, he couldn’t keep the house, and living on benefits… so it
is quite detrimental. Drug abuse and addiction are an unspoken vice within
the Muslim community. Evidently and sadly, unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of stigma
and shame attached to the issue, not just for drug users but for their family and
friends too. Speaking with Dr. Rosina made me realise that anyone can be affected, So I guess the question that needs to be asked is what is the solution? Well from all that we’ve ascertained today, communication I think
is the key and that starts with our communities, our mosques themselves. They need
to be facilitating supporting groups, workshops, any form of aid that we
can give to those suffering from addiction, and in turn, if our mosques are
then educated, our scholars will then be educated. We need to ensure that Sheikhs and Imams are approachable, that people suffering from the addiction will actually go to them for help if that is not available then how can we then expect them to turn towards faith in order to
solve the issue? And then finally, we need to be educating our families, parents need to know of the dangers that lie ahead, they need to know of the things to look out for, otherwise, if we can’t understand
the issues at hand, we’re never going to be able to cope with the symptoms and
the problems that we’re then having to deal with. So as I said communication is
the key, and if we’re not facilitating those avenues for the people to
access, then basically there’s no hope for the future.

5 comments

  1. Why does the title say"muslims"..do u call english people "christians people on drugs"..if these were good muslims they would not be on drugs anyway..so why refer to them as muslims. ..in fact they can be called not muslims as taking drugs n selling drugs is haram and the harm it does is immense.

  2. Don’t worry about a little weed many of your brothers in the middle east have burnt their brains out on heroin.
    Most of the Heroin that comes out of Afghanistan is produced by Muslims; they are responsible for the death of 100s of millions of people each year.
    Now that’s a great religion you have there
    Enjoy these videos.

    Pakistan heroin
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRUklQ0XTKk

    Pakistan 3 million heroin addicts, cannabis
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZfMfN1Z-Zg

    Saudi drug smuggling
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qb_wfqpqv2M
    700000 uses per year.

    Hashish Morocco
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qkOMMESkOI

    Turkey
    500,000 addicts. heroin
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdkmnsRiqFY

    Iran, heroin
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=netJ1Eu3Vys

    Egypt
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moK6aV9L0xU

    Bangladesh

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kptFtTzw96Y

    India The Punjab, Heroin
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFNFWa1iePE

    Indonesia 3.5 million addicts “Crystal Meth”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3ON4XZIUUA

    Yemen, Khat
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wBE8nY-LlQ&t=202s

    Somalia, Khat
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-esBs5y0cUk

    Regards RD

  3. There is an urgent and desperate need for an organisation or support group to be set up nationally to help provide people with the confidence and help to make addicts in the community to trust in order to step out of the shadows and accept help and support that they seek, but are too worried to accept, telling your gp is worrying as the impact and possible exposure is enough of a thought to keep them hidden and suffering, walk in centres also, most will be put off by the impact on family and work, they want to be helped without it going further than themselves

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