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Unemployment Drives Graduates In Gaza to Drug Addiction

Depressed by the lack of employment opportunities, many Gaza graduates are turning to the drug Tramadol as a way to escape.

Part of a haul of prescription drug Tramadol seized from a shipping container is displayed by police in Tripoli March 3, 2011.  Libyan authorities accused al Qaeda on Thursday of trying to smuggle 37 million painkillers into the country to alter the minds of young people to join a revolt against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. The drugs were hidden in containers that were identified for furniture, sports equipment and marble tiles. REUTERS/Chris Helgr
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Hassan recounts how he fell into the swamp of addiction to Tramadol, a habit-forming drug prohibited in the Gaza Strip. He ascribes it to the absence of job opportunities after he completed his university education nearly two years ago.

The 24-year-old Hassan graduated from Al-Azhar University in Gaza with a major in business administration. Despite this, he has been forced to join the long lines of unemployed workers, who account for 45% of Gaza’s labor force. Matters worsened as his economic, social and psychological problems deepened to the point where he found that his life had become unbearable.

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