x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Dubai drug rehab centre to treat 100s of UAE addicts

New centre is part of a Dh600 million plan to relocate Al Amal Psychiatric hospital to Al Aweer, close to Dubai Central Prison.

DUBAI // A drug rehabilitation centre with room to treat 272 addicts is due to open in two years.

The centre will care for patients in police custody who want to cure their addictions.

The only rehabilitation treatment centre in the emirate now can treat just 14 people at a time.

The project is part of a Dh600 million plan to relocate Al Amal Psychiatric Hospital from Al Wasl Road to Al Aweer, near Dubai Central Prison.

"The project is very much needed and is hoped to fill the shortage of rehabilitation centres across the country," said Dr Juma Al Shamsi, head of awareness and precaution at the Dubai Police anti-narcotics division.

"One of the main challenges in the rehabilitation of drug addicts is the lack of centres that offer comprehensive programmes."

In the first nine months of this year, 361 people were referred to Public Prosecution for drug abuse.

Dubai Police is monitoring 197 people who have been convicted of drug abuse and have served their sentences.

They carry out periodic tests on drug-addicted inmates over a year to ensure they do not go back to substance abuse.

Officers also conduct surprise tests for those enrolled in the treatment programme.

The centre will be operated by the Ministry of Health.

wissa@thenational.ae