Schools can play a major role in spreading awareness against drug abuse among school children and youth, a Dubai Police officer has said.
"We expect schools to cooperate by reporting any suspected cases of drug abuse among students or if anyone is attempting to promote narcotics among them by calling toll-free number 800400400," said Major General Abdul Jalil Mahdi, Head of Dubai Police's Anti-Narcotics Department.
"Our main concern right now is narcotic pills which a school child may receive for free once or twice, and once he becomes addicted he would have to pay for them," Maj. Gen. Mahdi said, adding that sometimes these pills are passed on from one student to the other, or given to them by drug dealers.
"We always stress that we need the cooperation of families and we ask parents to monitor their children and report any suspicious change in behaviour or habits, which may indicate that the child is using a prohibited drug," he said.
"When a family reports that their child is taking drugs, we take care of the youngster and treat them, but we also go after the dealer who sold him the drugs, which is our main target," he said.
"After the treatment is completed, we ask the recovering addict to start a new life and not look back, and to get busy in sports and other activities that occupy their time and absorb their energy," he added.
Maj. Gen. Mahdi highlighted the role of sports clubs which can educate the youth and more importantly, keep them off the roads and away from bad company. "We also benefit from them and their ideas and seek their contribution to develop our work," he said, adding that he was satisfied with the awareness campaigns that helped achieve a positive change among the public.
Maj. Gen. Mahdi was speaking from the anti-drug awareness tent organised by the Anti-Narcotics Department at Mamzar Beach, which hosts a three-day exhibition, cultural and sports activities, as well as free medical tests.