Dubai: One drug addicted son can spread the ‘disease’ to the whole family, a Dubai prosecutor has warned.

First Prosecutor Saleh Mohammad Al Shehi, from the Narcotic Drugs Prosecution Department, said that parents should be be careful if one of their children turns to drugs as the addiction can spread.

In one case he recalled a merchant whose four sons all became involved in drugs after the errant ways of one.

“They were clever students and prayed with their father until they became teenagers, but then one son became a drug addict and this affected his brothers,” said Al Shehi. “The boys started assaulting their father to give them money to buy drugs. It was a tragedy,” he added during a educational session in cooperation with the Community Development Authority.

Al Shehi said one of the boys died of blood cancer due to his addiction while the second contracted HIV due to his drug abuse. The other two were jailed for their offences.

“Bad friends are the main reason for drug addiction but in this case it was the elderly brother who affected his family,” said Al Shehi.

He urged families of drug addicts to come forward and get treatment without fear of criminal proceedings.

If they voluntarily present themselves to the authorities requesting help, they will not be punished under Article 43 of Federal Law No.14.

“What we noticed in many cases is that parents report their addicted son when he causes a problem like assaulting a family member, or causing chaos inside the house. That’s not a request for treatment and they can’t benefit article 43 of the law,” said Al Shehi.

Meanwhile, First Prosecutor Khalid Abdullah Al Hamadi, said that the UAE is protecting the community from drugs, but the community also has a big responsibility, especially families of addicts.

“There are some serious indicators that parents should notice, like their children staying alone, asking for money all the time, falling behind in studies, being aggressive and having health issues,” said Al Hamadi.