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Dh10 million campaign for drug rehabilitation

(Staff Reporter)
Filed on June 18, 2011

ABU DHABI - Treatment of drug addiction consumes two per cent of the Gross National Product (GNP) in the world, said a report of the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

In cooperation with the UNODC, the National Rehabilitation Centre launched a Dh10 million campaign to alleviate the impact of substance abuse on individuals, families and the society in the country.

“If we provide this amount in Abu Dhabi, we can build five religious monuments the size of Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque,” Dr Hamad Al Ghaferi, Director-General of the NRC, said.

The campaign spanning three years will target its partners and stakeholders from the government ministries like Ministry of Interior, Statistics Centre-Abu Dhabi, health authorities and other private sector entities operating in the field, said Dr Al Ghaferi.

The campaign aims to strengthen the bonds of cooperation and exchange experiences between various governmental and quasi-governmental establishments on several fronts.

The NRC is UAE’s leading centre of excellence for addiction treatment, rehabilitation and prevention and mandated withthe responsibility of alleviate the impact of substance abuse introducing treatment and rehabilitation services.

As per the records of the NRC, 450 patients have been admitted to the NRC since May 2002 till date, while the rate of success in rehabilitation is over 40 per cent locally and between 35 per cent and 40 per cent internationally.

The number of monthly telephone enquiries at the NRC has gone up from 35 calls in fourth quarter of 2009 to 130 calls in Q4 of 2010. The facility has been expanded to 44 beds from 30 beds in 2009 with 100 per cent occupancy.

NRC has signed a collaborative agreement with UNODC in October 2010. The centre also signed a joint agreement with McLean Hospital — University Hospital of Harvard University, in November 2010.

The campaign is a major step forward in the implementation of the joint strategy between the NRC and the UNODC, agreed upon earlier. As part of the campaign involving its partners and stakeholders, the NRC will initiate a workshop and a meeting of all partiesconnected with drug addiction, he said.

The workshop will discuss the draft study which evaluates the current status by creating a database to monitor the scourge of drug addiction and help chalk out a national strategy to combat drug addiction besides raising preventative and curative approaches, said Dr Al Ghaferi.

There are other partners such as criminal justice, education, social, family and public institutions that deal with the community and provide jobs and employment opportunities for recovery and reintegration of addicts into the society,said Dr Al Ghaferi.

anwar@khaleejtimes.com


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