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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 22 July 2018

Abu Dhabi Police chief says 'poison' of drug abuse can be tackled

Family role in combating addiction is key as emirate marks day of action against narcotics

Abu Dhabi Police is highlighting the danger of drug abuse as part of a worldwide day of action.

Commander-in-Chief Maj Gen Mohammed Al Rumaithi is marking the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on Tuesday with a call to all sections of society to join forces to combat the problem.

The United Nations initiative has been observed every year since 1989.

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Maj Gen Al Rumaithi said eradicating the "poison" of drugs is everyone's responsibility - from the family to the health authorities - and he vowed that his force will continue to lead the charge.

“It is society’s responsibility to protect the youth and the community from these poisons through an integrated national project,” he said.

He stressed the importance of the role of family in providing children with religious and moral education, teaching them proper behaviour and explaining the consequences of addiction.

"Be with your children and they will be fine," Maj Gen Al Rumaithi said. "The safe family atmosphere, which is full of love and harmony, free from quarrels and disputes, encourages each family member to achieve his ambitions and work on a better future away from drug addiction."

He said that Abu Dhabi Police is continuing its campaign to raise awareness with the public, in addition to education lectures and pamphlets.

"Efforts are being made by the Abu Dhabi Police to adopt the best initiatives and plans to deal with drug abuse and curb drug addiction," he said.

The important role of the family in preventing drug abuse and helping to rehabilitate users was emphasised by a change in the UAE anti-narcotics law, introduced at the end of 2016.

It means that offenders who are reported to the police, prosecutors or a rehabilitation centre by their families will face no penalty and will instead receive treatment until they have recovered.

Previously, this was only the case if the drug user surrendered to authorities.

The change in the law has inspired many family members to speak out and seek help for their loved ones.