Abu Dhabi to focus on rehabilitation, treatment under new anti-drugs initiative

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Government officials in the United Arab Emirate’s capital of Abu Dhabi have said they will put treatment and rehabilitation at the focus of a new drugs policy designed to combat the use of narcotics.

The Abu Dhabi Media Office tweeted on Monday that the ‘Integrated Strategy to Combat Addiction’ has several main objectives — preventing substance use, enabling early identification and intervention, providing appropriate treatment to substance users and ensuring fast reintegration of those recovering into their families and society.

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“The strategy focuses on supply reduction, prevention efforts, and early intervention through targeted awareness campaigns, as well as education programs for parents and key stakeholders from the academic, health and social sectors,” it tweeted.

It said Abu Dhabi will focus on limit access to illegal drugs, while ensuring addicts are treated rather than punished.

Under the theme of ‘A Community Safe from Addiction’, the new strategy will see multiple government authorities - from the police and schools to hospitals and local clinics – working together to tackle the use of illegal substances.

The announcement came on the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which falls on June 26.

“The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking comes as a reminder to all societies of the danger of narcotics and their negative impact on family and societal stability,” Abu Dhabi’s Department of Community Development tweeted.

On Monday, neighboring emirate Dubai announced its customs department had made 936 drug seizures across its land, sea, air and passenger ports in the first four months of 2022. This compares to 558 seizures in the same period last year.

Dubai Customs thwarted several attempts to smuggle narcotic substances, which included tramadol tablets, captagon, opium, heroin, hemp seeds, crystal meth, marijuana, and other narcotics.

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