Most young people are naturally reckless and curious and want to experiment. It was the case of 24-year old (M.A.S), a Gulf national, who fell prey to the drug affliction and ended up in jail. Haunted by remorse, he tells his story; wishing he could go back in time to right the wrongs and apologize to his family, who has tried to advise him against bad companions, and urged him to pay attention to his work and studies; but of course, their advice fell on deaf ears.

With sadness and sorrow, (M) explains that before ending up in prison, he used to be an employee in the morning and a diligent student in the evening. He added that bad friends have fooled him and fancied up sea and land trips and parties accompanied by drugs and alcohol. This drinking binge and raucous partying seemed like fun, the bad friends seemed like the only real support in life, not knowing that alcohol and drug abuse is a risky path, and that drug abuse is an offence punishable by the law.

Troubled and heartbroken, (M) added: “My parents didn’t quit on me; they tried persistently to help me by checking me into the Abu Dhabi Drug Rehabilitation Center, or even in the  Psychiatric Ward; unfortunately, all their efforts  were in vain.  My fate was sealed and the police was waiting when I caused a car accident. A medical examination revealed a high level of drugs in my body, so I had to plead guilty. I was sentenced to four years in prison on charges of drug abuse.”

(M) continued: “Now I feel remorse and sorrow. Despite the good treatment I receive from the Punitive and Correctional Institutions Department, which has provided me with vocational training and valuable opportunities to complete my studies by enrolling me in the Higher Technical College; I can never compensate the lost days of my life. I am taken by an overwhelming feeling of sadness whenever I see my friends graduate from university, have prestigious jobs, get married and have children, while I’m stuck behind bars. For all these reasons, I advise young people to pray; because prayer is the best weapon against depravity and evil. I also urge them to obey their parents, and to confront life's problems with patience, particularly the problem of finding a job, which can never be solved through drugs. I also urge them to keep away from bad companions, being the main cause of problems that affect young people.”

Despite the heartbreak and pain, (M) stressed that there is always a glimmer of hope; noting that he could be released from jail before the end of his sentence for good conduct and behavior. He expressed his intention to complete his studies abroad, and ultimately get a job to be able to build a family that draws benefit from his painful experience. In conclusion, he noted: “It was definitely a traumatic experience but it has given me valuable experiences and lessons.”

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