Dubai Police have helped a student overcome drug addiction after the boy's father reported him to authorities to seek assistance.
The 19-year-old used drug-soaked paper that he bought online. The police did not specify what drug was used.
“The father approached Dubai Police’s Hemaya Centre for help. It shows an increased awareness among the public,” said Col Abdullah Al Khayat, director of the centre.
The Hemaya Centre helps people fight and prevent drug addiction by offering rehabilitation programmes and guidance.
“The man told us his son, who was a top student, was withdrawn, oversleeping and would get easily provoked. He had started smoking medwakh pipe (used to smoke a type of tobacco)," Col Al Khayat said.
The man said he went through his son's belongings and found a tiny empty plastic bag hidden between the mobile phone and its cover.
“Despite being empty, it worried him because his son was hiding it,” Col Al Khayat said.
When brought to the centre, the teenager said he smoked pieces of A4 drug-soaked paper after being convinced by friends. He received support from the centre’s rehabilitation experts.
“This is a new method where regular lined papers are soaked with synthetic drugs which are more dangerous than hashish," Col Al Khayat said.
The boy said he bought the paper from an online drug dealer and fell unconscious after smoking it.
“Dealers seek new ways and new channels to promote their poison but the police are always alert,” the officer said.
Changes in the UAE’s anti-drugs law, which were made in 2016, have helped many men and women come forward for help.
Article 43 of UAE’s anti-drugs law prohibits a criminal case against a person if he, or his family notified the police or a treatment unit.
People who approach the authorities were counselled and put into a rehabilitation programme.
They were also given medical treatment and were supported by group and therapy sessions.
“His parent has played a key role in rescuing his son unlike some who ignore significant changes in their children’s behaviour,” Col Al Khayat said.
“Bad friends can lead to drug addiction and young people should be more careful when offered to try any illegal substances.”