Abu Dhabi: Parents have key role in preventing drug abuse, says police officer

Negligence at home, bad friends or colleagues cited as reasons leading to addiction among children


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Sat 3 Dec 2022, 3:55 PM

Last updated: Sat 3 Dec 2022, 9:24 PM

Parents can play a major role in protecting their children against drug use, an Abu Dhabi Police officer said during the UAE National Day event.

“Many different dangerous elements have tried to disturb the unity and stability in the country. One of the destabilising factors is substance use,” Major Yousef Al Hammadi from the Anti-Narcotics Directorate at Abu Dhabi Police said during an anti-drug initiative by Indian Islahi Centre’s Wisdom Abu Dhabi.

He noted that drug use impacts not just the addicts but their families, society and country, and stressed on parents being alert to any suspicious activities.

“One of the main factors that leads to children taking to drugs is because of family negligence, bad friends or colleagues they might have,” Al Hammadi told the gathering of parents, youngsters and children.

The officer pointed out social media platforms have been heavily used to promote drug use.

“Nowadays use of social media is part of our daily lives, be it at the workplace or educational institutes. We are using smartphones and smart devices everywhere we go. So, parents have to be cautious about their children using these social media platforms,” he said during the event at Indian Islamic Centre, Abu Dhabi.

Al Hammadi spoke about the importance of parent-child communication and awareness on the negative impacts of habits like substance use.

“Some parents are busy with their work and remain disconnected from their children, and this gap can be detrimental. You have to talk and create awareness.”

He noted that cigarette smoking increases the likelihood of drug use.

“Smoking could be a trigger for drug use. And nowadays we are seeing different types of tobacco products are available. It could be a cue for drug use,” Al Hammadi said, while highlighting that police and the government have been taking several measures to combat the menace of drug abuse, including imprisonment and hefty fines.

Addressing the expat community, Al Hammadi stressed that citizens and residents are treated equally before the law.

“All are equal in front of the law. There is no difference between a resident or a local. And this is what we have been taught by the late Sheikh Zayed. All people in this country are equal.”

Al Hammadi urged community members to report any crime or suspicious activities through Aman service on 8002626, or https://abudhabipolice.gov.ae/en/Aman. Also, there is a service called ‘Forsat Amal’ https://forsa.adpolice.gov.ae/en for rehab of drug addicts, where their identity will remain anonymous.

Also raising awareness on the topic were Salma Al-Shurafa from Abu Dhabi Police, phycologist and counsellor Dr Jouhar Munavvir and Imam Hussain Salafi from Masjid Al Aziz, Sharjah.


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