Al Jazeera World

Rehab Egypt: Edge of Addiction

At a rehabilitation centre in Egypt, men with drug and alcohol addictions embark on a road to recovery.

A group of men embark together on a journey to recovery at a secluded rehabilitation centre in a desert oasis between the Egyptian capital of Cairo and its coastal city of Alexandria.

In recovery, they reflect on the events that brought them there.

They speak of deteriorating health, ruined relationships, stealing or losing money, life-threatening overdoses, stigma, suicide attempts, and other challenges. While substance abuse is not uncommon in the Middle East and North Africa, it is rarely discussed as openly as in this documentary.

Rehab Egypt - AJW - DO NOT USE
Group therapy is a key element of the 12-Steps recovery programme [Screengrab/Al Jazeera]

Patients follow a “12-Step” programme, a residential course that guides them through physical and emotional withdrawals and helps them to lead more fulfilling lives.

Rehab Egypt - AJW - DO NOT USE
After training at a rehab centre in England, Dr Ehab Kharatt set up a similar clinic in Egypt [Screengrab/Al Jazeera]

For many, their addiction hurt not just them, but their families and loved ones as well.

But as they recover, they make new friends, spiritually reconnect with themselves and find healthier ways to cope.

Rehab Egypt - AJW - DO NOT USE
After the death of a friend from a drug overdose, Hisham sought rehabilitation [Screengrab/Al Jazeera]

Through their harrowing stories comes hope; several of the men overcome their illness and begin to help other substance abusers, working to end the painful cycle once and for all.

Rehab Egypt - AJW - DO NOT USE
Now in recovery, Atef is a volunteer helping other addicts overcome their addictions [Screengrab/Al Jazeera]