Col. Abdullah Al Khayat, director of Hemaya International Centre at Dubai Police
Col. Abdullah Al Khayat, director of Hemaya International Centre at Dubai Police Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: A Dubai mum, who was a drug addict, has been rescued, thanks to timely help from her family and Dubai Police.

Col. Abdullah Al Khayat, director of Hemaya International Centre at Dubai Police, who shared the details of the case with Gulf News exclusively, said there’s help for drug addicts to kick the destructive habit, and the family’s close cooperation is key.

He said: “Addiction is a worrying problem and all community members need to cooperate in the battle against drugs. Some families don’t seek help from the authorities to deal with addiction problems as they are afraid it will damage their reputation in society.”

“They should avail benefit from Article 89 of the Anti-Narcotics Law which exempts drug addicts from legal punishment if they or their families voluntarily seek help from the police.”

Son unearths mum’s problem

Col. Al Khayat revealed how Dubai Police recently rescued a woman from drug addiction after her 14-year-old son discovered that she used drugs.

The incident came to light when he saw some suspicious materials in his mother’s bathroom. He duly informed his father.

The father said that his son also overheard the mother talking to a group that was to arrange the delivery of her drugs. He had also taken pictures of the materials in the bathroom.

The distressed father decided to help his wife instead of taking her to task.

He contacted the Hemaya International Centre in the General Directorate of Narcotics Control in Dubai Police under the provisions of Article 89 of the UAE Law on Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances.

Col. Al Khayat said the husband did not know what to do.

The police officer advised him to take her to a comfortable place and inform her about the issue. The son was kept out of the meeting.

Initially, the wife denied the matter. The husband then showed her the pictures, following which she admitted that one of her relatives had dragged her into drugs.

The woman, who was also studying, said she was convinced that the drugs would help her stay up late.

Her husband, who specially took leave from his work, called his sister take care of his children while he attended to his wife in treatment. He was always there for his wife and kept in constant touch even is he had to travel. His wife’s contacts of the group were blocked and she had no access to them.

Through this entire period, the husband did not tell his wife that their son knew about the matter. He also had to deal with the shock that his son was siffering from after his discovery.

Col. Al Khayat said: “We provided him with consultations from the centre for a long time, even after his return from treatment.”

Col Al Khayat told the father that he must make his son understand that his mother was deceived and it was not intentional.

He commended the husband’s efforts in dealing with his wife’s addiction and seeking help from the centre, instead of resorting to divorce or reprimanding her, which would have destroyed their family.

The mother, who had been into drugs for four-five months, finally overcame her problem and recovered.

In another case, a person who had abused drugs for almost 31 years, also recov-ered, thanks to Dubai police. He has been counselling addicts for at least 15 years now.

Col Al Khayat said communication among family members is key in addressing the drug menace. “Any issue you want to address, you must understand it’s your family’s right to keep its honour. Your country has the right to raise its name.”

He said parents must keep a constant check on their children and build trust in the family.

“If your son gets addicted and you discover that reality, after making sure that this is indeed the case, ask him what led him to substance abuse? You must stand by him during treatment,” he said.

He warned against organised gangs promoting drugs and targeting young girls and boys.

How Hemaya helps

Col Al Khayat said the centre provides free-of-charge social counselling services, within a framework of confidentiality and privacy, for families who need advice, guidance and direction, with regard to the abuse of narcotic substances and psy-chotropic substances and how to deal with and rescue an addicted patient.

He also explained the importance of the role of parents in raising awareness about drug abuse among children, especially since some of them may be forced into the situation, due to study, work or other pressures.

Also, they must be made aware that non-criminalisation of drugs in some coun-tries does not take away from the dangers of drug abuse, as drugs affect the body and mind with serious implications.

He said children must not rush to take depression medications and sedatives to escape from the pressures of life, but rather seek professional help to deal with the challenges.

Article 89 of the Anti-Narcotics Law

Article 89 of the Anti-Narcotics Law spares addicts from legal punishment if they voluntarily give themselves up to the police.

The law also makes it binding on addicts to hand over all drugs they have in pos-session and receive treatment. Addicts face legal charges if they refuse to get treated.