UAE: Over 300 drug addicts sought treatment in Abu Dhabi last year; what families can do to help

The digital service - 'Opportunity of Hope' - provides medical care and guidance in a way that ensures total confidentiality


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Mon 23 Jan 2023, 2:20 PM

Last updated: Mon 23 Jan 2023, 10:30 PM

A total of 331 drug addicts sought treatment and guidance on how to quit drugs through Abu Dhabi's smart service in 2022, according to Abu Dhabi Police.

The digital service - 'Opportunity of Hope' - for drug prevention, launched in 2021 by Abu Dhabi Police in cooperation with the National Rehabilitation Centre and the Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs, was visited by 65,374 people last year.

The service can be accessed via the Abu Dhabi Police's website or smart app.

Colonel Taher Gharib Al Dhaheri, director of the anti-narcotics department at Abu Dhabi Police, said the service helps provide treatment and guidance to drug users and addicts in a way that ensures total confidentiality.

"The digital service was aimed at providing treatment and educational and guidance materials about the dangers of drugs and how addicts can quit the habit," he said.

Al Dhaheri said parents need to play the supervisory and guiding role expected of them to protect their children and prevent them from falling prey to drugs.

"Families should closely watch out for any abnormal changes to their children's behaviour and general appearance, especially teenagers, which helps a lot in early detection of their involvement in drug abuse," he said.

The service also has the provision for educational materials in sign language.

Al Dhaheri added: "The initiative gives opportunity to drug addicts to apply for treatment services electronically. The treatment services are provided in coordination with the National Rehabilitation Centre and the Zayed Foundation for People of Determination."

The official noted that since its launch, the "Opportunity of Hope" service played an important role in activating community partnerships to limit the spread of narcotic substances and strengthen relations between members of society.

The force has highlighted the importance of joint efforts of society and civil and institutional entities to combat drug abuse and help addicts get treatment by spreading awareness about its fallout.

According to the Police, the initiative offers a chance for addicts to go for treatment without being prosecuted, which is in accordance with Article 43 of Federal Law No. (8) of 2016. The law states that criminal charges cannot be imposed on drug users or addicts if they turn themselves into authorities or their spouses or relatives to seek addiction treatment.


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