Powerful video on drug abuse in UAE


A powerful video by Dubai Police shows the harsh reality of drug addiction and its devastating impact on one’s entire family.

AdTech AdWhat happens when drug use spirals out of control? Life can end up one of two ways. Either in prison, or six feet under.

A powerful video by Dubai Police shows the harsh reality of drug addiction and its devastating impact on one’s entire family. In the clip, a young man can be seen buying drugs from a dealer. He urges his friend, Hamad, to try it as well. The man eventually dies as a result of overdose. Hamad is later seen brooding over his body as he is laid to rest. Hamad’s family, in tears, begs him to let go of drugs. He shakes. He cries. Then gives up. His mother’s inconsolable screams pierce the air. His younger brother tries to wake him up but he’s gone.

“Mother, please forgive me!” a voice can be heard as his body is being taken away for the funeral.

According to CDA figures from 2014, there are more than 400 young individuals struggling with drug abuse in Dubai.

This number could rise by more than a third (33.8 per cent), to 561 by 2022, according to social care experts.

A recent report from the United Nations (UN) has indicated that the age of initial drug use is getting lower – and this trend is being reflected in the UAE.

“Before, we’d usually only treat people in their early twenties or late teens for drug-related issues. But now we’re seeing children of Middle School age dabbling in these illegal substances,” Dr Hussain Al Maseeh, social care expert at the Community Development Authority (CDA) told Khaleej Times.

Most are doing it for “experimental purposes” he said, but research carried out at Rashid Hospital shows that a significant factor leading to addiction here is the absence of a father.

“This has proven to be a big cause of addiction for boys under the age of 14.”

Speaking on the risk factors associated with early onset drug abuse, Dr Al Maseeh said “the earlier the drug use, the higher the risk of addiction”.

“Drugs are big business globally. Drug dealers have hypothesised that if they get younger generations hooked on a particular product they ultimately become a long-term customer. That is why they prey on young teens.”

According to CDA figures from 2014, there are more than 400 young individuals struggling with drug abuse in Dubai.

But with the current trend, this number could rise by more than a third (33.8 per cent), to 561 by 2022.

And in the UAE, he said drug use among women is also increasing.

Closing the gaps

Though there is a lot of action on the government and public level to tackle drug addiction in the UAE, certain gaps still need to be addressed.

“More recognition is needed for a comprehensive approach to dealing with addiction in Dubai,” Dr Al Maseeh said

At present, Rashid Hospital and Al Amal Hospital in Dubai are the only facilities providing treatment and rehabilitation to drug addicts.

“When services are limited, it means specialists are not available. The number of specialists here is low compared to the need,” he said.

But he emphasised that any approach to addiction has to be addressed through prevention methods, adding that “increased awareness and education programmes are vital.”

Solving the issue

To aid recovery, addicts need to go through a three-phase programme – detoxification (treatment), rehabilitation and aftercare.

An approach which has to be “multifaceted”, Dr Al Maseeh said.

“We have to look at the family, the individual’s personality, and the community they live in.”

Ownak, which currently has 150 registered clients, three of whom are women – provides phase three of this three-step process.

But it is aftercare that is not given “due attention” here.

“You cannot let down your guard as an addict, so relapse prevention is so important and always focuses on who, what and where. Who you should not be with, what you should avoid and where you shouldn’t go.”

Depending on the individual it can take anything from three to six months to be rehabilitated.

“But it is important to note that Ownak offers a life-long service to recovering addicts.”

Praising the staff of Ownak for the “round-the-clock” work they do, Dr Maseeh said each of them try to ensure each client limits his/her risk of falling back into the “drug-dependency cycle.”

But with addiction this relapse is always a risk, he said.

Source: www.khaleejtimes.com

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