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Drugs claimed 30 lives in UAE last year

Latest overdose victims found in Sharjah in 2 separate incidents, probe under way

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Gulf News

Sharjah: As many as 30 Emirati men died across the UAE in 2013 as a result of drug overdoses, said Ganem Ali Al Mansouri, who heads drug cases with Sharjah Public Prosecution.

Al Mansouri told Gulf News that the latest numbers came from statistics released by the public prosecution.

The figures show that roughly more than two people died each month last year throughout the country.

According to the statistics, the ages of the victims ranged between 18 and 38, Al Mansouri said. No women were reported to have died from drug overdoses in the country last year, police said.

It is part of a trend that suggests drug use is increasing across the country although gauging actual drug use can be difficult because figures depend on incidents such as deaths related to drugs as well as arrest and conviction rates of traffickers and dependent drug users, said authorities.

Al Mansouri noted, for example, that the number of drug cases referred to the courts showed an increase in trafficking and those caught in possession of illegal substances.

He said the state and security agencies are working hard to reduce drug cases and limit the entry of such substances into the country given the harm such substances can exact upon vulnerable people.

Meanwhile public prosecutors are probing two separate incidents which happened last week in which two Emirati men were found dead at their homes in Sharjah. Forensic tests showed they died of a drugs overdose.

Police received a call that K.B.A.R., 44, was dead at his house in Al Khazamiyah.

Around the same time, police received another report that J.S.A., 45, had also been found dead at his home in Halwan.

“They had taken large quantities of drugs,” said a Sharjah police officer.