The Ministry of Interior (MoI) concluded its camping under the title ‘They Fooled Me’, designed to raise awareness against risks and dangers of drugs. The campaign witnessed significant interaction from government institutions and members of the public via social networking sites, and a large number of awareness tweets using the hashtag #TheyFooledMe, launched by the ministry on its Twitter account.

Lt. General Saif Abdullah Al Sha’far, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Interior, praised the widespread interaction of the different institutions in the country the campaign, which included awareness activities through media outlets, including TV, radio and print, in addition to screens in shopping malls and on buildings in Abu Dhabi and northern emirates of the country, along with awareness ads on TV, radio stations and local newspapers.

Lt. General Al Sha’far added: “The MoI is keen to continue its efforts to further raise public awareness on the dangers of drug abuse in general, and highlight the negative impacts, may it be on individual, family or social levels. It also aims to warn young people below 18 years of age against the “first free try of drugs”; to acquaint community members with the risks and devastating impacts of drugs.

Lt. General Al Sha’far continued: “The Ministry of Interior advised community members to not consume any unknown substances. It also seeks to encourage young generations to reject the “first free try of drugs”, and educate them about the emotional and financial harmful effects that addicts may encounter to obtain these substances.”

Adding further, Lt. General Al Sha’far said: “Participation of the various government and community-based institutions gave momentum to the campaign, whose slogan dressed the Department of Transport’s (DoT) public busses in Abu Dhabi and ADNOC gas stations. In line with the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, the campaign organized celebrations across a number of malls. The celebrations featured public awareness competitions and a meaningful social play entitled ‘Our Motto… Respect for the Law’. The play was a volunteer performance by the ‘FakhrUAE’ Association.”

Lieutenant Colonel Saeed Al Khajah, Deputy Director of Tactical Affairs and Security Media Department at the General Secretariat of the Office of H.H Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, praised the interaction of different institutions and the public with the goals and activities of the campaign. He said: “These efforts brought success to the campaign, introduced the public to the risks of drugs and promoted the efforts to protect our youth against these deadly toxins using various methods.”

Lieutenant Colonel Al Khajah added: “As part of the campaign, the Security Media Department  releasing real-life stories of individuals who were convicted on drug charges after they were ‘Fooled’ by bad companions; people who “fancied up” drug abuse, while others were convicted on charges of cooperating with drug dealers. They all agree that what they did was a huge mistake and that they were gullible victims. These real-life stories received great feedback from all community categories, who expressed their sorrow for the bitter reality of drug abuse, on both users and addicts.”

Lieutenant Colonel Al Khajah continued: “On the countrywide level, the campaign delivered awareness news and warned the public against falling prey to drugs and bad companions. The campaign featured several awareness activities across all media outlets on MoI accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Instagram. The campaign also honored the winners of the creative competition on social media that asked participants to write advice, design posters, or create a video that expresses the contents and objectives of the campaign. Participations were distinguished and meaningful, and the winners received cash prize incentives in recognition of their distinguished participations.”

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