UAE: Over 500 drug addicts received treatment through Abu Dhabi Police's new campaign

Programme highlights family's crucial role in preventing addiction and supporting efforts to protect public health


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Image used for illustrative purpose
Image used for illustrative purpose

Published: Sun 13 Nov 2022, 5:36 PM

Last updated: Sun 13 Nov 2022, 5:40 PM

At least 580 drug addicts have been treated and received help to quit the habit under the "Chance of Hope" awareness campaign, which was rolled out in Abu Dhabi last year to help those with addiction problems.

Brigadier Taher Gharib Al Dhaheri, director of the Narcotics Control Department at Abu Dhabi Police, said the initiative has contributed to raising awareness of the dangers of drugs and introducing the causes of drug abuse and ways to prevent it.

Al Dhaheri noted that parents should advise their children with a drug addiction to seek help from the police or the National Rehabilitation Centre as no charges will be pressed against them.

"There is a fear of social stigma and an obsession with scandal and shame among some families. This makes them reluctant and wary to report cases of addiction among their children," he said, adding that other parents have false information that reporting their addict children to authorities will lead to imprisonment, which is not true.

Abu Dhabi Police is keen to deal with the reports it receives with complete confidentiality and privacy. It aims to provide treatment to the patient according to the highest standards through the National Rehabilitation Centre and help him reform.

The UAE has put in place treatment and rehabilitation methods for drug addicts by providing them with care and treatment services and a package of rehabilitation programs to encourage them to seek addiction treatment. Criminal cases or legal accountability are not held against those who voluntarily seek treatment, in accordance with Law No. 14 of 1995 and its amendments.

Authorities have always said that everyone is responsible for protecting societies from the dangers of the drug scourge and addressing the issue of gangs smuggling drugs.

In June this year, Abu Dhabi Police launched a campaign highlighting the family's crucial role in preventing drug addiction and supporting efforts to protect public health.


The campaign, which is in collaboration with the Department of Community Development (DCD), the General Women's Union and the Abu Dhabi Shelter and Humanitarian Care Centre, or Ewa'a, highlights the values of collaboration between parents and relevant entities.

The project targets all community groups, especially the youth. It raises awareness of the crucial supportive role of positive family communication and showcases initiatives, guidance programmes and rehabilitation treatments.

Major General Maktoum Ali Al Sharifi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Police, 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.

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