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The highly accessible Hemaya International Centre of Dubai Police encourages families to seek help if they have a drug addict suspect in their midst Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai Police have rescued a former drug addict from a relapse after he fell into bad company on social media platforms, a police official said on Thursday.

Brigadier Eid Mohammad Thani Hareb, director of the Anti-Narcotic Department at Dubai Police, said the 23-year-old had spent seven months at a rehabilitation centre outside the country to recover from addiction.

When he returned, old friends called him and tried to lure him to procure drugs through social media as he was staying home amid the precautionary measures against COVID-19.

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Colonel Abdullah Al Khayat Image Credit: Supplied

“He informed his father and together they contacted the Hemaya International Centre at Dubai Police. We provided the youth with psychological support remotely without the need for him to attend sessions in person. We taught him how to fight his feelings and manage his friends,” said Brig Hareb.

The former addict lived a good life with his family until he met a group of youngsters who came from divided families.

Colonel Khalid Bin Moyzeah, deputy director of Anti-Narcotic Department at Dubai Police, said one friend had initiated him into drugs, following which he had become a drug addict.

“When the father discovered the matter, he immediately sent his son for treatment at a rehabilitation centre outside the country. He even changed the contact numbers of his son to cut any link with his friends,” Col Bin Moyzeah added.

However, the friends managed to contact him through social media platforms, asking him to go out with them with the intention of exploiting him financially.

“He admitted to his family that his friends contacted him. Staying hone during COVID-19 can enhance family bonds and better monitoring of youngsters and teenagers while using social media platforms,” Col Bin Moyzeah said.

Moreover, Colonel Abdullah Al Khayat, Director of Hemaya International Centre, said they provided the man with counselling support through virtual conferences as part of a new method to help people recover from drug addiction in COVID-19 times.

“Those who recover from addiction must have the courage and power to keep away from friends who are bad company. It is not an easy step and they can take expert advice on how to do it,” said Col Al Khayat.

Brig Hareb urged families to monitor their children even more amid the spread of COVID-19 and contact the Hemaya International Centre for psychological and mental support for their children if they suspect that they consume drugs.

He said people can get free, remote consultancy from the Hemaya Centre.