Substance abuse is a major social and public health problem in Lebanon, whose phenomenon is growing and is characterized by a decrease in the age of the population concerned. In 2010, 58% of the estimated 15,000 drug abusers, had started using drugs between the ages of 14 and 19 years. In patients treated for substance abuse, heroin is responsible for 50% of admissions to treatment, followed by cocaine (20%) and alcohol (20%), with a significant relapse rate for heroin users.

Although the law 673 provides, for consumers of drugs, rehabilitation programs as an alternative to prison, according to the Drug Repression Bureau statistics in 2009, 2,228 drug users were arrested, with nearly half aged between 18 and 25 years. Women, if not accepted by their families after the arrest, they often end up living on the streets, falling into the circle of prostitution.

The NGO Oum el Nour, that provides prevention programs, rehabilitation and integration, for both men and women, welcoming substance abusers and supporting their families, found in 2014 that 65% of the admitted patients in their centres were unemployed. 40% of those were students. Because of their dependency, some beneficiaries have lost their jobs, others have not developed specific skills, and others did not want to pursue their profession.

The project aims to strengthen the training and technical-professional offering of Oum el Nour rehabilitation Centres and start generating income-generating activities for direct beneficiaries, thus facilitating their social redemption and easier reintegration into society.

The overall objective of the project is to help in preventing drug addiction and to improve the socio-economic conditions of drug addicts and former drug addicts.

The specific objective of the project is to strengthen the prevention and rehabilitation services for drug addicts and former drug addicts in Lebanon.

The planned activities include: refurbishing the structures of the Fatqa Women’s Centre and Sehaile’s Men’s Centre, run by Oum el Nour; strengthening the capacity and the training offer in the Centres and launching sustainable inclusive business activities; increasing awareness of addiction-related problems among teenagers, young people and parents: strengthening the personal and professional skills of Oum el Nour’s staff.

Implementing entity: Cooperazione nei Territori del Mondo – CTM

Partners: Associazione Solidarietà e Sviluppo (ASeS) e Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori (CIA)

Local Counterpart: Oum el Nour

Implementing area: Lebanon – Mont Liban region, Sehaile and Fatqa cities

Beneficiairies: 240 users in both renewed and equipped Oum el Nour Centres; 21 administrative staff persons of Oum el Nour trained; 78 social workers from Oum el Nour trained; 6.000 youngsters and 2.600 parents involved in 2 prevention campaign.

Durata: 36 months – Start: April 2017

Budget: AID 10964 CTM/LBN – Euro 1.637.133,34, Agenzia Italiana per la Cooperazione e lo Sviluppo contribution Euro 1.051.235,14