Drug law now treats addict as victim not suspect, says Dubai Police official

New law spares addicts from legal punishment if they voluntarily give themselves up to authorities

FILE - Pharmaceuticals are seen in North Andover, Mass.  The Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday, June 7, 2022, that they are starting an inquiry into the operations of pharmacy benefit managers who control access to prescription drugs for millions of Americans, ordering the nation’s largest PBMs to provide a range of information and records detailing how they do business.  (AP Photo / Elise Amendola, File)
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Dubai Police have helped a young woman overcome her addiction to illegal painkillers after her family sought their assistance.

The 20-year-old woman admitted to her family members that she had become a drug addict four years ago after being introduced to a man on social media by a friend.

She started a relationship with the man, who was an addict, and she forced her family to allow her to marry him, said Col Khalid bin Muwaiza, deputy director of the Dubai Police Anti-Narcotics Department.

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We know it is not easy for parents to communicate with police to report family members, but the new law treats the addict as a patient not a suspect
Col Khalid bin Muwaiza, Dubai Police Anti-Narcotics Department

Police said the father provided his daughter with a house and income after her marriage.

The couple divorced a short time later and soon after, she started a relationship with another man, who had a criminal record.

“At that point, her father discovered that she was a drug addict,” said Col bin Muwaiza.

“She told her family that she consumed drugs whenever she had a problem with the second man. Her brothers convinced the father to alert Dubai Police to help her.”

The woman's father and brother then approached the Hemaya International Centre, an affiliate of Dubai Police Anti-Narcotics Department, for help.

“The family knew about the new UAE’s drug law that spares addicts from legal punishment if they voluntarily give themselves up to the police. They brought the girl to Hemaya Centre asking to help her from addiction,” Col bin Muwaiza said.

He said the woman went through a recovery and rehabilitation programme at a centre in Dubai.

“We know it is not easy for parents to communicate with police to report their addict family members, but the new law treats the addict as a patient not a suspect,” Col bin Muwaiza added.

He urged parents to watch over their children and reach out to authorities for help to safeguard family cohesion and public safety.

In addition to sparing addicts looking to reform from punishment, Article 89 of the New Anti-Narcotics Law makes it binding on addicts to hand over all drugs they have in their possession and receive treatment. Addicts face legal charges if they refuse to be treated.

The Hemaya International Centre carries out several educational programmes for young people that aim to raise awareness of the hazards of drug abuse.

Crystal meth, hash, Lyrica and Captagon are among the most commonly seized drugs in the Emirates.

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Updated: July 06, 2022, 7:33 AM
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