Sharjah: Parents should keep a close watch on their children as ignoring or neglecting them could lead them into drug addiction, a police official here has warned.
Most recovering drug addicts relapse into addiction due to parental neglect, Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad Al Khamiri, Director of the Awareness and Rehabilitation section at Sharjah Police’s Anti-Narcotics Department, told Gulf News.
An anti-narcotics exhibition, held under the slogan ‘A committed Homeland ... Drugs are a scourge’ and organised by Sharjah Police, got under way at City Centre Al Zahia on Thursday. Major General Saif Al Ziri Al Shamsi, Commander–in-Chief of Sharjah Police, opened the exhibition, which includes photographs of addicts, posters showing different types of natural and manufactured drugs as well as drugs smuggling methods, in addition to videos of major drug seizures made by Sharjah Police.
Major General Al Shamsi announced that various means were being used to make the public aware about the harmful effects of drugs on people’s mental and physical health. People can call 901 or 8004654 for help or to share any drug-related information. There is also a dedicated corner at the exhibition site for people to seek help and advice.
'Most effective deterrent'
“The exhibition, which has been adopted by Sharjah Police’s Anti-Narcotics Department, aims to support parents as well as their children to discuss and discourage drug use. One of the most effective deterrents is a parent who wants to spend time with children — someone who talks to them about their friends, discusses what goes on in school, what sport they play and what interests them. The more parents and other family members get involved in children’s lives, the more positive young people will feel about themselves and the more likely they are to respond favourably to their family’s views,” Lt Col Al Khamiri said.
The exhibition was attended by Major General Al Shamsi; Brigadier General Ahmad Haji Al Serkal, Director General of Police Operations; Brigadier General Arif bin Hadeeb, Director of Media and Public Relations; and Lieutenant-Colonel Majid Al-Asam, Director of the Anti-Narcotics Department. Several other senior police officials were also in attendance.
“Our observation of World Anti-Drugs Day seeks to enhance public awareness on the perils and impact of drugs on society, especially on the youth,” Lt Col Al Khamiri said. “Smoking cigarettes as a sort of imitative behaviour is the first step for young people towards becoming addicts. Apart from its harmful economic, social and psychological effects on society, narcotic addiction also leads to several fatal diseases and destroys family and personal life,” he added.
Lt Col Majid Al-Asam urged the public to cooperate with the police in order to control the spread of drugs in society and to inform the police about any suspected traders of narcotics.
Rashid Al Sheihi, Director at Sharjah Police’s Anti-Narcotics Awareness Department, told Gulf News: “We have confiscated a lot of cargo containing drugs. Many drug dealers buy drugs via the internet and send money online, while many websites promote different types of narcotic substances or controlled medicines.” Some people also deposit money in bank accounts and are informed about the location of drugs via WhatsApp, he added.
Two unfortunate incidents
In one incident, a 17-year-old boy — the only child of a family — died as a result of drug overdose, following six months of addiction. He became a drug addict after one of his friends, who was also his neighbour, introduced him to drugs.
In another incident, a young man had brought his friend over to his house and the duo went to the annexe building. After two-and-a-half days, the family was alarmed by an abnormal stench. A search in the annexe building revealed the decomposed body of the two men — both drug addicts.
‘A committed Homeland ... Drugs are a scourge’:
Exhibition dates: From July 8 to July 15
Timing: From 10am to 10pm
Venue: City Centre Al Zahia