In its role as a leading center for the prevention and treatment of substance use in the UAE and the region, the National Rehabilitation Center (NRC) in partnership with the Ministry of Interior’s General Administration of Federal Drug Control, held a three-day training workshop at the Sharjah Federal Police School on how law enforcement authorities can best handle substance users. The workshop targeted 32 UAE and GCC-based police officers who are directly involved in combating substance use.
The sessions focused on raising awareness of how to spot a substance user as well as how to approach the user in a safe and effective manner. Discussions were also held on the stages of recovery and rehabilitation of substance users, laws and policies related to this issue, in addition to a number of participants sharing their personal experiences and specific case studies with their peers. The session also addressed the correlation between substance use and crime, as well as the regulations in place to tackle these cases. The NRC also held discussions on how it can enhance cooperation efforts with the General Administration of Federal Drug Control to limit drug and alcohol consumption amongst UAE residents.
“This workshop is a joint effort with the Ministry of Interior’s General Administration of Federal Drug Control to raise awareness on substance use and its negative health, physiological, and social impacts. Most importantly, it aimed to enhance the skills of those who work in this field to ensure that they are fully equipped to provide the best care to individuals suffering from the disease of addiction,” H.E Dr. Hamad Al Ghaferi, NRC’s Director General said.
He added, “At NRC, our main focus is to reduce the rate of substance use in the UAE and the GCC region, and we understand that this requires collaborative efforts among our peer network. This workshop is one of the many initiatives that we host to devise practical and scientifically-driven solutions to effectively deal with the different types of substance users and to provide solutions to establish a conscious, healthy community. We are particularly focused on raising the community’s awareness on the disease of addiction and its negative psychological, social, and health repercussions on the individual, as well as the family unit, and society at large.”
Colonel Saeed Abdullah Al Suwaidi, Director General of the Federal Anti-narcotics Directorate at the Ministry of Interior also commented on the training saying: “This workshop is an important example of how key players in the community need to work together to achieve positive results that benefit our country and its people. The disease of addiction is a complex medical condition which is prohibited and punishable by law, and which is also looked down upon from members of the community. It is important that the professionals working in this field possess the right skills and legal knowledge required to carry out their duties in the best way possible.”
Dr. Al Ghaferi, stressed the importance of this workshop in not only developing national capacities in this field, but also to reinforce the definition of substance users as patients who need to receive treatment, care and support.
He added, “The key recommendation is to continue holding these specialized trainings, holding courses for law enforcement professionals is a means of providing them with the necessary skills on how to encourage substance users to seek treatment – thus decreasing the overall demand on drugs. Workshop attendees highlighted the important role played by judicial, media, educational, and social support institutions in raising awareness on the disease of addiction.”
NRC continues to work towards implementing best global practice in the prevention and treatment of substance use. Additionally, the Center works on building national capacities and empowering them to use advanced scientific methodologies in leading innovation in the field of addiction care.
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