The National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) in Abu Dhabi will soon launch an awareness campaign in Abu Dhabi schools for the prevention of substance abuse, an official told Gulf News Monday.
The NRC is the national body that oversees the rehabilitation and treatment of drug addiction.
"It is part of a two-tier prevention programme for the youth, which will be implemented in cooperation with the United Nations Organisation for Drugs and Crime (UNODC)," Dr Hesham Farouk Al Arabi, Head, Health Education Research, NRC, said.
According to a UNODC report, drug addiction or dependency is starting at a very young age which is a very dangerous sign. The two-tier programme will target pupils and families [separately], he said. The programme has already been endorsed by the EU and is the only drug programme to be initiated in the schools of the EU, he said.
"To implement the programme in the UAE, we are modifying it to adapt to the local culture, values and norms as compared to those in the EU," Al Arabi said. He said it will be launched this academic year [2011-2012], probably after the summer vacations, in cooperation with Abu Dhabi Education Council.
The programme for families will be launched by the end of this year, Al Arabi said.
"We will reach the families through big government and private organisations," he said. "It is necessary for the stake holders to understand that substance abuse is a community problem. If a single person has a problem, everyone around him or her suffers," Al Arabi said.
"So while fighting against substance abuse, we not only fight for the patients but also for the welfare of the society as a whole," he explained. UNODC is helping different UAE agencies to implement and develop national awareness campaigns within the framework of its global campaign towards a world free of drugs, a senior official said.
The agency is giving more attention to the awareness programmes, along with the legal measures to stop drug trafficking etc, Hatem Fouad Ali, Representative and Head of the Office of UNODC in Abu Dhabi (for the GCC countries), said.
From / Gulf News