x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Dubai group to train social workers to spot addicts

Drive aims to combat reports of increasing use of the banned stimulant Captagon.

Dubai // Social workers at public schools in the emirate will be trained to identify teenagers struggling with addiction and behavioural issues, starting in April.

The training has been organised by the Juvenile Welfare Association, an advocacy group that is chaired by Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, the Dubai Police Chief.

"We are increasingly seeing students smoking and consuming Captagon," said Dr Jasim Mirza, a board member of the association, referring to the brand name of a banned stimulant.

In the testing phase, the workshops will be held in two public and two private schools. Dr Mirza said the sessions, conducted by a team of psychologists and counsellors, will last for four months and aim to enhance the skills of social workers and stem misconduct.

He said social workers often do not have the expertise to handle complicated situations and the association will support them as they rehabilitate students.

Sarah Dayal, a psychologist in Dubai, said social workers need to be trained in monitoring telltale signs, and intervention techniques. She said social workers need to probe delinquent behaviour, and look further into possible causes like peer pressure, problems at home and emotional insecurity.

aahmed@thenational.ae