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UAE: Ministry urges public to report about drug users via app

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi
ismail@khaleejtimes.com Filed on April 8, 2021
Alamy photo used for illustrative purpose

Drug-related criminal offences can be reported either anonymously or revealing complainant's identity

UAE residents have been urged to report to the Ministry of Interior (MoI) about people involved in criminal activities such as the sale of drugs, trafficking and possessing contraband, and abuse of banned narcotic substances.

Officials said the service is available on its smart application (MOIUAE). It allows the public to report drug-related criminal offences.

The complaints can be lodged via mobile phones in a simple process and also the confidentiality of information is ensured.

The General Administration for Drug Control Services offers two options --- either be anonymous or the complainant's identity can be revealed. A suspect is allowed to be named and his identity, including photograph and location, can be attached to the complaint.

“The smart service takes into account information confidentiality and ensures optimal use of the service, within a set of regulations, conditions, and user restrictions,” said officials.

The ministry said that the whistleblower bears no responsibility when he gives information, provided that it is not malicious or seeks to harm others.

The app provides a questionnaire under the title "Does my son take drugs", which aims to help parents discover early cases of their children's drug addiction, such as during school retreat, involvement in illegal acts like fighting, theft, concealing some matters, inability to concentrate, neglecting school duties and personal hygiene.

The MoI reviews the signs related to the outward appearance of drug users or symptoms that show that a person is an addict.

Early detection can help families seek help from authorities to save their children from the drug scourge.

Among the signs cited by the ministry include weight loss, paleness of the face, red eyes and neglect of a person's external appearance, traces of burns in clothes who use hashish and marijuana, possession of wrapping papers and tools such as scissors or a knife and traces of dark materials on them.

In the case of an intravenous heroin user, the signs of the jab are evident in the addict’s arms. So, addicts avoid wearing short-sleeve clothes. Users of tramadol and heroin can also be noticed by weariness, imbalance, and slurring of speech.

Authorities emphasised that drugs have a side-effect on the behaviour of the user in a way that can be noticed by their family, as the addicts tend to isolate themselves, spend a long time in washrooms and often suffer from disturbed or lack of sleep and irregularity in school and work, accompanied by a decline in the academic and professional performance.

The addicts are in constant need of money, which sometimes forces them to borrow or steal, and can resort to lying or feign an illness to justify their actions. They can also be noticed through ambiguity and exclusivity when talking on the phone and using vague words and symbols to disguise themselves in their conversation with friends, according to MoI authorities.

The app highlights the side-effects of drugs such as cannabis, marijuana, spice, heroin, opium, cocaine, amphetamines, Captagon, tramadol, khat, and other banned substances.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com

author

Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.





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