Analyzing the Prevalence of Illicit Drug Use in Jordan’s Rural Towns: The Governorates of Jerash and Ajloun as Case Studies (Published)
Jordan is not typically at the center of global concern regarding illicit drug prevalence. However, in recent years – and presumably since the onset of the Syria Civil War – the prevalence of illicit drugs in Jordan has become an important issue. While the question regarding whether this presence is due to Jordan historically being used by traffickers as a trafficking hub – or whether illicit drugs have indeed gained a foothold amongst Jordanian youth – remains, analysis of this issue is necessary in order to better understand this contemporary issue. Interestingly, rural areas such as towns within the governorates of Jerash and Ajloun (in northern Jordan) are at least anecdotally said to have a high prevalence of drug use within them. While no official government data is available to illustrate the prevalence of illicit drugs per governorate, and social stigma associated with addiction prevents the opportunity for extensive interviews to take place with those struggling with addiction, a plethora of media reports are available that provide insight into this pressing issue, in addition to limited anonymous interview access with individuals struggling with addiction. Accordingly, this research article will use interviews and content analysis as methodologies to both analyze available media excerpts to better determine whether illicit drug use is indeed becoming more prevalent amongst Jordanian youth or whether the rise in the presence of illicit drugs in Jordan is due to increased trafficking as a result of border security issues related to the Syrian Civil War.