|03 February, 2017

Mandatory premarital drug tests in Saudi Arabia

Non-Saudi men wishing to marry Saudi women will undergo premarital drug tests, mandatory screening for all men

An Iranian woman holds up her hand, painted with henna, under a religious sentence as she prepares for a wedding ceremony in the city of Qeshm on Qeshm Island at the Persian Gulf, 1,100 km (684 miles) southeast of Tehran, November 1, 2006. The sentence reads, "In the name of Allah, the Beneficent and the Merciful.

An Iranian woman holds up her hand, painted with henna, under a religious sentence as she prepares for a wedding ceremony in the city of Qeshm on Qeshm Island at the Persian Gulf, 1,100 km (684 miles) southeast of Tehran, November 1, 2006. The sentence reads, "In the name of Allah, the Beneficent and the Merciful.

REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl
03 February 2017
Physicians, scholars call for mandatory screening for all men

MANY have welcomed the decision of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Naif, deputy prime minister and minister of interior, requiring non-Saudi men wishing to marry Saudi women to undergo a premarital drug test.

Speaking to Al-Riyadh daily, doctors in the Kingdom welcomed the move and said it will help ensure a secure and well-knit marriage. They also voiced support for a similar measure to be made mandatory for Saudi men wanting to marry Saudi women.

Painful reality

Dr. Khalid Al-Hulaibi, director of the Family Welfare Association in Al-Ahsa, said the association has received 300 complaints from mothers, wives and sisters who were suffering because their male relatives — sons, brothers and husbands — were drug addicts. Some women have approached courts for dissolution of their marriage because they can no longer live with their addict husbands.

“We cannot blame women who request divorce from their husbands. They have had enough of it and they cannot tolerate and put up with living conditions like these longer,” he said.

According to the association’s statistics, most drug addicts reported keeping the company of people of questionable character who then introduced them to drugs and filled their brains with poisonous ideas. In fact, many terrorists arrested by security officers turned out to be drug addicts whose minds were full of deviant thoughts.

Major risks

Drug addicts can pose great risks to society and the wellbeing of family. Most drug addicts who are married end up cheating on their wives and develop mental problems and become dangerous to their own families.

“We have received many a weeping wife who were completely broken down because their husbands took up drugs. They did not know what to do and most of them had children. It is a heart-wrenching situation. That is why the authorities should impose premarital drug tests on Saudis as well,” he noted.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Fawzan, a professor of sociology and a member of the Shoura Council, said many pertinent studies have attributed drug addiction to failed marriages. Taking drugs is surely to result in family disintegration and endless marital problems.

“I have no doubt that requiring Saudis to take the premarital drug test will ensure the safety and security of a family and above all a healthy marriage. Some people might oppose such testing but they do not know the destructive effects of drug use on a marriage and society as a whole. A recent study has shown that drug abuse accounts for 25 percent of divorce cases,” he pointed out.

Advantages

Ahmed Al-Bo’ali, the imam of Al-Thani Mosque in Hofouf, agreed that imposing the requirement of premarital drug testing on Saudi grooms will help reduce the number of failed marriages. Neither a husband nor a wife should deceive one another; they should be honest to each other in order to build a strong family and help develop society.

Dr. Ahmad Al-Sulaiman is the former director of Hereditary Blood Disease Center in Al-Ahsa and is an internal medicine consultant at King Fahad Hospital in Hofouf. Like other doctors, he too said drug use can lead to dangerous diseases and severe mental and physical problems. It can also cause depression, anxiety, frustration and other health and mental issues.

© The Saudi Gazette 2017

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