Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah Image Credit: WAM

Sharjah: A new drug treatment and rehabilitation centre is being established in to Sharjah on the directives of His Highness Shaikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

Dr Shaikh Sultan has directed Major General Saif Ziri Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police, to intensify efforts to combat the menace of drugs and to establish a specialised centre to rehabilitate drug addicts.

The centre will also aim to raise public awareness about the dangers that illicit drugs and illegal substances pose to society, especially vulnerable youth.

Sharjah witnessed a seven per cent increase in drug-related cases in 2017 with police recording 767 cases compared to 712 in 2016.

The police seized 9.5 million narcotic tablets and 400kg of narcotic substances with a street value of more than Dh515 million.

“The department spares no effort in raising awareness about the dangers of narcotics, especially among youth as they are the most vulnerable to drug abuse,” said Brigadier Mohammad Rashid Bayat, director of operations.

Major General Al Shamsi said the centre will offer treatment and rehabilitation programmes in line with the highest international standards and will offer treatment to reintegrate drug addicts into mainstream society after they recover.

In January 2017, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, issued a law establishing a drug treatment and rehabilitation centre in Dubai.

The rehab centre is called ‘Irada’, meaning ‘will’.

The National Rehabilitation Center (NRC) in Abu Dhabi was established in May 2002.

In 2017, Sharjah Police referred 97 drug addicts to rehabilitation centres.

In Sharjah jail, a programme titled “to recover” has been started to target drug addiction. The programme won an award from the Ministry of Interior this year.

A total of 253 inmates benefited from this programme that began in December 2015.

Out of these only 11 inmates returned to jails, four in Sharjah and seven in other parts of the country.