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Powered by, one of the most popular daily English language newspapers in the United Arab Emirates.

Prisoners will not be treated at centre

08/16/2009 09:27 PM

Dubai: The Abu Dhabi National Rehabilitation Centre will no longer treat prison inmates in its centre and will instead place staff members in Abu Dhabi Central Jail to treat them.

It is considered the most comprehensive rehabilitation centre for drug addicts with 287 patients undergoing treatments and over 50 cases are placed on the waiting list.

"The high numbers of prisoners are taking over bed spaces that should be provided for other drug addicts who are not convicted," Dr Hamad Al Gafri, Director of Abu Dhabi National Rehabilitation Centre said in an interview.
Most of the cases they deal with are alcoholics and those addicted to opium and other drugs.

"We are currently putting in place a programme to treat them in prison so that people volunteering to get treatment in our centre will find a place," he said.

The centre offers treatment plans for the addicts and for the family to cope with a difficult situation and case. Drug addicts need a supportive group during the treatment period, he said.

"We still need more reformation and legislative efforts and integration into society. It's difficult for a drug addict to find himself a place in society or a job."

The critical issue at the moment is that addiction is becoming a trend among children globally, he said. The age of drug abusers is dropping annually world wide, he said, adding "We are still not facing that in UAE but it's a challenge to anticipate."

However, the age of drug users is falling in the Middle East, he said.

"We need to conduct more studies on the impact and societal pressure on addiction. You have to realise that most drug related cases trace their roots to schools. We need to make this issue a critical responsibility among all sectors of society."


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