Drug use, drug use disorders, and treatment services in the Eastern Mediterranean region: a systematic review

Drug use is an increasing global public health concern. We reviewed the prevalence and patterns of drug use, drug use disorders, and the extent of treatment services in 21 countries and one territory in the Eastern Mediterranean region from 2010 to 2022. Online databases were systematically searched on April 17, 2022, along with other sources for grey literature. The extracted data were analysed and used for synthesis at the country, subregional, and regional levels. The prevalence of drug use is higher in the Eastern Mediterranean region than global estimates, with cannabis, opium, khat, and tramadol among the main drugs used in the region. Data on the prevalence of drug use disorders were scarce and heterogeneous. Treatment facilities for drug use disorders are available in most countries, but opioid agonist treatment exists in only seven countries. There is a need to expand evidence-based and cost-effective care. Limited data exist, especially regarding drug use disorders, treatment coverage, and drug use among women and young people.

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