by Mohammad Khaku (Letters To The Editor, Crescent International Vol. 46, No. 2, Rajab, 1438)
Muslims need to open their eyes to the threat posed by alcohol and drug abuse in the community.
Alcohol and drug abuse are serious community issues as well as global public health and medical problems affecting every faith and demographic group. It is also a highly stigmatizing problem especially among Muslims, which limits data collection and research. As a community we have failed to seriously address the problem of “substance abuse” and closed our eyes to it. Substance abuse is found in Muslim countries as well as in the luxury villas of Florida and California. WHO, United Nations, UNODC, and Journal of Muslim Health (US, 2009), have done many studies on the prevalence, risk factors, treatment and prevention.
“Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, 2016” provides statistics intended to startle people into action. The author writes in his introduction “…for far too long, too many in our country have viewed addiction as a moral failing… We must help everyone and see that addiction is not a character flaw — it is a chronic illness and should not be criminalized.”
Muslims must face the problem head-on and not try to sweep it under the rug. Ignoring it will not solve the problem; it will spread more.
Allenstown, PA, US