UAE: Ministry of Education warns teenagers about ill-effects of drug abuse

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Abu Dhabi - New social media campaign aims to safeguard impressionable minds not to go astray during summer vacation.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Sun 4 Jul 2021, 5:29 PM

The Ministry of Education (MoE) has urged teenagers to avoid bad company and behave responsibly during the ongoing summer vacation to prevent falling prey to the ill-effects of drug abuse.

The MoE has launched a new social media campaign against the use of drugs and warned youngsters against hanging out with anti-social elements.

Officials have warned teenagers to steer clear of drugs that would destroy their cherished dreams and ambitions.

“Your life is a gift. You must protect it from bad company and instead surround yourself with family, strengthen your independence, and invest in your future for the sake of your nation... Don't try drugs and don't sacrifice your life for drugs,” the MoE tweeted.

The ministry also posted an inspiring video poem of a former drug addict, whose vaulting ambitions were about to be consigned to oblivion had it not from inspiring messages from a few individuals and an able support from a rehabilitation centre.

The poem delineated how the ex-addict wanted to reach the stars in his formative years, when he was full of life like a sapling that sprouted between rocks in a mountain.

But he was struck by a gust of wind that bent his stems.

“I allowed the poison to devour my roots. I heard the phrases, try it…. It’s impossible to get addicted from a single try…I tried it and I wish I never had.. It’s like a black hole, filled with unknown darkness…You don’t see that until you get sucked into it. I saw my dreams begin to fade into the distance… There came a time when I realised that there’s hope. I will not surrender to this darkness beckoning to consume me!” he recounted.

“Inspiring individuals were the source of my liberation, and the rehabilitation centres offered me support and treatment. As for those responsible for this terrible experience, they are no longer an obstacle in my life. Now, I stand here stronger than before. I continue to live my life achieving my ambitions and dreams,” he added.

According to the authorities, teenagers who experiment with drugs put their health and safety at risk.

Families have been asked to help prevent drug abuse among teenagers by talking to them about the consequences of the bad habit and the importance of making healthy choices.

A brainstorming session, which was recently organised by the Abu Dhabi Police’s anti-narcotics directorate in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Police Youth Council, recommended the need to raise social awareness and further enhance the role of the family in fighting the drug addiction menace in a bid to safeguard teenagers from the bad habit.

Families were told about the importance of proper upbringing of children, monitoring of the teens' activities all the time, ensuring to keep the youngsters away from bad company, and making sure they use their leisure time in a productive manner.

According to health experts from Mayo Clinic, continued use of drugs might be a result of insecurities or a desire for social acceptance.

“Teens may feel indestructible and might not consider the consequences of their actions, leading them to take dangerous risks with drugs,” said experts.

The common risk factors for drug abuse among teenagers, according to Mayo Clinic experts, include:

>A family history of substance abuse

>A mental or behavioural health condition, such as depression, anxiety or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

>Impulsive or risk-taking behaviour

>A history of traumatic events, such as experiencing a car accident or being a victim of abuse

>Low self-esteem or feelings of social rejection

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