“Ta7t EL Saytara” was arguably one of the most outstanding and remarkable Egyptian TV series ever produced on both the emotional and the informative level. Besides Nelly Karim rocking the Ramadan battle for the third consecutive time, way to go Nelly, the series managed to turn its audience into drug experts (in a good way of course). It demonstrated how destructive drugs can be, and pointed out that rehab is available in many ways in Egypt.

In spite of the fact that the series presented almost all of the crucial information related to drugs, we would still like to highlight a few facts in some of the scenes.

I’ve done my homework and my research but I won’t claim I came up with these explanations by myself; a pharmacist friend did the job for me (Thank you):

1. Why was Hania paralyzed in the last episode?

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Instead of injecting the needle in one of her veins, Hania injected the substance in a neuron. Neurons are terribly sensitive; they don’t regenerate. Therefore, Hania learned the lesson the hard way.

2. How did Ali leave Hania to be raped by the supplier? How did Tarek rob his house and beat his wife?

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In those scenes, we all thought that they were craving the drugs to the point that they will do anything to get it. That’s true but that’s not all there is to it. A part of our brain, called the frontal cortex, is responsible for the planning process, strategizing, logic, judgment and the conscience. When we develop an addiction, this part in our brain will start to narrow or ignore some important behaviors such as caring for your family. Later, the decision making system will head to an imbalance of impulsive behaviors leading to violence and crimes, like what happened to Ali by the end of the series.

3. Why did Tarek’s younger brother die?

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Yeah, we all realize it was an overdose, but someone of Tarek’s expertise won’t commit such a mistake, right? Heroine abusers do not know the actual strength of the drug or its true contents. Some dealers might add starch to substance to earn extra money. So let’s say the abuser bought 2 grams, he might in fact be consuming only 1.5 grams of heroine and the rest starch. That’s why changing the dealer might result in the abuser’s death due to an overdose. The new dealer might be “3ando damir” and sell the abuser 2 pure grams, so an overdose will instantly occur.

4. Why did Mariam almost relapse when she went back to her old apartment?

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The triggers for a relapse can be classified as stress triggers (include emotions such as anger, fear, or sadness), environmental triggers (getting together with the people you’re used to do drug with, that’s why Tarek relapsed as soon as he saw Mariam) and finally re-exposure triggers (include circumstances or places that bring the user into proximity with drugs) and that’s what happened with Mariam.

5. In the Narcotic Anonymous sessions, why do they always start by saying “Ana Modemn” though they are all sober?

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Narcotic Anonymous “Zamalet El-Modmenin El Maghoulin” is a self-help group of abstinent drug addicts modeled on 12 steps; it has been expanded and developed for people with varied substance abuse issues. They always say that because the effect of any addiction may fade with time, but the craving will never do. For as long as they live, they will always have a weakness towards that substance but it’s up to them and their strong will to restrain themselves.