CAIRO: More than 19,000 called an addiction hotline for assistance in dealing with dependence on controlled substances in the first half of 2015, Minister of Solidarity Ghada Wali announced Tuesday.
Most of the callers, she stated, were seeking treatment and rehabilitation, and noted a slight increase in the percentage of women seeking help; 3.7 percent of those calling the hotline in the first six months of 2015 were women, compared to less than 2 percent in 2014.
Dependence on Tramadol, a pain reliever often abused for recreational use, ranked first among addictions reported by callers to the hotline, with 40 percent of calls. The minister also announced that 37.7 percent of calls came from the greater Cairo area, followed by Giza with 17.7 percent, then Alexandria with 9.5 percent.
A 2014 national survey by the Anti-Addiction Fund indicated that 24 percent of Egyptian drivers perform their work under the influence of drugs.
Some 24 drivers in Giza governorate tested positive in random drug tests administered in August, the head of media center at Giza Traffic Department Ayman Abdel Kader told The Cairo Post last week.
Traffic authorities have observed a decline in the number of positive tests, after a tough amended traffic law took in effect in 2014, according to Abdel Kader.
There are 16 treatment centers dedicated to helping addicts, up from 13 last year, Wali added Tuesday.