Families handed over as many as 28 drug addicts to the Ajman Police so they could receive treatment.

The families, who visited the Anti-Narcotics Department, appealed to the officers to save their children’s lives as they had been found to be taking illegal drugs.

“The guardians told the police that their sons had fallen into bad company and were consuming drugs,” said Colonel Saif Khalifa Al Muhairi, director of the Anti-narcotics Department at Ajman Police. He said the department has received 28 such cases since the beginning of 2019. All the cases have weer referred to rehabilitation centres across the country, following which they were treated and discharged.

Col Al Muhairi said, “Counsellors from the department sat with the young men and conducted regular medical check-ups.”

The UAE’s drug law gives parents the right to protect their children by placing them in rehabilitation centres in order to seek professional help.

“The current law on the fight against narcotics and psychotropic substances is a positive step towards tackling the issue,” Col Al Muhairi said.

“The law shifts the focus to developing policies on prevention, treatment, harm reduction and rehabilitation, which will turn around the lives of many drug users, their families and others who are affected by their behaviour,” he said.

The new law prohibits a criminal case being brought against drug users if they, or their family, notify the police or drug treatment unit.

If a drug user is handed over by the family to a rehabilitation centre, police or prosecutors, they face no penalty and will remain in treatment until the centre decides they can be released.

Major General Shaikh Sultan bin Abdullah Al Nuaimi, commander-in-chief of Ajman Police, lauded the families for voluntarily handing over their sons to the Anti-Narcotics Department to get them treated.

What the law says

Police said addicts can benefit from Article 43 of the Anti-Narcotics Law which exempts them from legal punishment if they or their families voluntarily hand themselves to the police. They are also required to voluntarily hand over drugs in their possession to competent authorities. However, if addicts refuse treatment, they will face legal action.