Citizens participating in the Ministry of Interior’s Council hosted by Muta’red Saif Al Afari’s at his residence in Al Ain on Wednesday recommended boosting families’ awareness about the dangers of drug use and abuse. During the council, held under the title “the Impact of Drugs on Youth”, participants called for utilizing social media and awareness films to address the young generations and warn them against the dangers of drugs abuse and addiction.

Participants also called upon parents to practice positive supervision of their children and make sure they make good use of their leisure time during school holidays. They also stressed the need to develop innovative educational and recreational programs for students in order to enhance their awareness about the dangers of drugs.

The council, which comes as a part of the year-long awareness councils organized by the Law Respect Culture Bureau at the Ministry of Interior, was moderated by media figure Talal Al Hindasi, from Dubai Media. Participants recommended supporting the efforts exerted by government institutions across the UAE in preparing educational programs aimed at enhancing young people’s awareness about the dangers of drug use, as well as the adverse consequences of drug abuse for the individual and society as a whole.

Speakers at the council praised the efforts exerted by the MoI in the fight against drugs that are detrimental to youth, who are the pillars of every society’s future. They also indicated that drug addiction is a dark world, with harmful psychological and health consequences, which corrode the structure of society and destabilize the family.

In his speech, Lt. Colonel Dr. Juma’a Al Shamesi, Head of Awareness Department at the General Department of Anti-Narcotics at the Dubai Police, noted that drug dealers seek to destroy young people’s minds to lure them into addiction and dependency to make profit. He stressed that such councils are the perfect opportunity to discuss societal issues and boost awareness of parents on the dangers of addiction and the risks of children falling prey to drug dealers.

For his part, Major Mohammad Al Mansouri, Awareness Branch Manager at the Anti-Drug Section of the Abu Dhabi Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID), said that drug use sometimes starts at home; the major factors being a dysfunctional family, and lack of parental supervision among others.

Dr. Ahmad Yousef, Head of Psychiatry at the National Rehabilitation Center (NRC), tackled in his speech the issue of addiction confidential treatment. He noted that addicts may be reluctant to seek treatment and rehabilitation programs out of fear of scandal. He noted that the NRC provides the highest levels of protection and access to confidential treatment, an approach intended to encourage addicts to seek treatment.

In the same context, Dr. Mohamed Al Junaibi, Psychology Specialist at NRC, noted that some addicts relapse and slide back into addiction after rehabilitation, due to their failure to comply with the rehabilitation programs. “The National Rehabilitation Center, NRC, implements high-level and advanced scientific methods to fight all forms of drug abuse and addiction. It also exerts considerable efforts in treating individuals who fall prey to drug abuse; with a view of achieving the safety of society.

Abdullah Saeed, Rehabilitation Counselor at NRC, gave an overview of his experience as an ex-addict. He said that he first tried drugs out of curiosity; unaware of the dangers associated with drug use and abuse, which are detrimental to minds.

Ali Jalal, Rehabilitation Counselor at NRC, also gave a testimonial of his success over addiction. He said that addicts are not aware of the negative effects of their actions. He explained that main factors leading to addiction are neglect, household problems and a dysfunctional family, which encourage some people to seek, alternatives, no matter how dangerous or nefarious.

The council concluded with a speech from the host, Muta’red Saif Al Afari, who praised the noble and cultural initiative sponsored by the MoI, in organizing awareness council, which provide the opportunity to foster relations between community institutions and families, and to boost people’s awareness by discussing different viewpoints.

He said: “The drug scourge poses a serious threat to world communities, and target the youth in particular. This calls for concerted social and institutional efforts to curtail the drug affliction and protect the youth, who are the pillars of every society’s future.”

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