Two Arab residents face 5-year jail term for drug abuse in UAE
Ras Al Khaimah - Both were charged for the possession and abuse of the narcotic substance Lyrica, court records showed.
Two Arab residents were found guilty of illegal drug possession and abuse, with the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) criminal court sentencing them to five years in jail.
Arrested by the RAK Police in one of their inspection raids, both were charged for the possession and abuse of the narcotic substance Lyrica, court records showed. The first suspect, however, bore the additional the case of driving under the influence of illegal drugs, for which he would serve an additional month in jail.
Pharmacist Roua Abdulaleem told Khaleej Times that Lyrica was originally a medication that specialists prescribed to patients who suffer from nerve damage due to diabetes or shingles.
"Lyrica, also known as pregabalin, has proved to give relief to patients suffering from pain caused by these issues and others," Abdulaleem said.
But this kind of pain killer, just like many other medications, has been abused by drug addicts, she said. "It may only be prescribed in specific doses for severe conditions when regular pain killers do not work."
After the RAK criminal court sentenced the two to jail terms, the case was moved to the court of appeal, which also upheld the verdict.
The first suspect challenged the ruling at the RAK Court of Cassation, with his defence lawyer arguing that the verdict was "null, void" and considered "breaches of the law".
"My client has been convicted on the basis that he was arrested red-handed with narcotic Lyrica, though it was only a medication prescribed and dispensed at an earlier time," the lawyer said.
The lawyer requested the court to allow the Tawam Hospital in Al Ain to affirm that the second defendant used to get the prescribed narcotic Lyrica on a monthly basis for the treatment of his sick niece.
"This proves that the fake claims of the second suspect who alleged to know nothing about the nature of the drugs and that he has been provided with the narcotic Lyrica by my client (first defendant)."
The court, having heard the pleading of the defence lawyer, ordered the adjournment of the case to give its verdict later this month.