Saudi marriage drug tests 'a failure'
Riyadh, January 27, 2014
The drug addiction test being carried out by the Saudi Health Ministry for prospective brides and grooms has been termed as useless by a senior official.
The tests have failed to measure addiction levels and thus determine marriage eligibility, Mohammed Al-Saeedi, the Health Ministry’s director-general for combating chronic and hereditary diseases, was quoted as saying by Arab News.
He said scientific committees and government departments have concluded that the mandatory test does not effectively address addiction .
Saudis account for over 54 percent of drug users in the Kingdom and drug addiction among women has increased by 20 percent during the past few years, the newspaper said quoting a report.
The ministry has found that addicts tend to abstain from drugs prior to the tests. However, once married, they return to their habit, said Al-Saeedi in the Arab News report.
More than 2.5 million addiction tests have been carried out so far within the framework of this initiative, he said.