Lawyer Nasima Amal Hifri, speaks on the topic Sport and stimulants' Danger of digital stimulants and the absence of legislation' Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Dubai: Authorities should recognise the dangers of digital drugs on the society and issue a law criminalising it even if there is still no scientific evidence proving its negative effects, a lawyer has said during the sixth International Conference of Sport Versus Crime.

Digital drugs are soundtracks called ‘binaural tones’ that youngsters and adults listen to reach altered states of consciousness. But, the debate has continued over whether the drugs mimic the same effect of conventional drugs and cause addiction or not.

Algerian lawyer Nasima Amal Hifri, has, however, warned that such binaural beats, easily accessible over the internet from websites, sometimes available for free, can pose a risk to Arab societies and their consumption should be criminalised.

“There is no harm in passing a law that criminalises digital drugs, even if claims of drug-induced feelings haven’t been yet verified. We cannot wait until a disaster breaks,” she told a full-house audience on the second day of the conference in a session titled ‘The danger of digital stimulants in the absence of legislation’.

She said studies tracing the brain activity of individuals after listening to binaural tones showed a state of mind that is similar to the state of mind that follows drug consumption. “There was a direct impact on the brain.

“There is currently no legislation anywhere because the debate is that how can listening to criminal notes be criminalised, and how will those listening to them be tracked,” said Hifri.

Colonel Dr Jasem Khalil Mirza, director of security awareness department at Dubai Police, however, said digital drugs is not a “phenomenon” in the UAE, but the real problem remains with consumption of “actual drugs”.

“Around three years ago, the phenomenon with digital stimulants surfaced in the media across the Arab world, but until today there is a lack of scientific evidence proving their impact and their effect remains a myth. I myself tried listening to those audio notes to see what they can do, and I did not become unconscious or addicted, there was no impact whatsoever,” he said.

He said: “I don’t think there is a need to fight something that doesn’t exist. There is no proof it’s a substitute to other drugs and that the vibrations lead to an addiction. If it is proven in the future, then we will adopt laws that fight it and launch programmes that target youth.”

Col Mirza said, “Ecstasy pills, narcotics and tramadol abuse are instead the widespread phenomenon in the Arab world and a challenging issue that authorities continue fighting.”

The sixth International Conference of Sport Versus Crime is being held under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince, by the General Headquarters of Dubai Police under the theme “Sports Make the Society Happy”.

The three-day conference has brought in scholars, researchers and experts from 35 countries to exchange international views and experiences on how sports can improve the quality of life of individuals and communities and be used as an entry to confront attitude deviation in society.

Topics on the second day have focused on using sports to prevent violence among teenagers and children, perversion and crimes caused by sport fanaticism, and impact of sport on controlling aggressive behaviour.


Digital drugs not an issue for students

Dubai: During the conference, Colonel Dr Jasem Khalil Mirza, director of security awareness department at Dubai Police, presented a field study he had carried out to understand what university youth in the UAE knew and felt about digital drugs.

He said the study took a sample of 500 university students from public and private universities in the UAE between the ages of 18 and 23 years.

His findings showed 46 per cent of the respondents did not agree that it was a widespread phenomenon in the UAE, 55 per cent did not agree that the audio notes can cause addiction and hallucination, 37 per cent said they did not know what digital drugs are and 23 per cent agreed there was no scientific evidence available.

“Forty per cent of the respondents said the topic of digital drugs should not be discussed so that the idea of it is not marketed and people would get curious to try it,” he said.

He added that 74 per cent of the surveyed people said they do not have any recommendations because it’s not a serious problem and lacks scientific basis.

“Fourteen per cent suggested there could be some awareness on this topic,” he said.

“There is still no proof digital stimulants are a substitute to drugs and that they lead to addiction.”