Stressing the importance of Monitoring Children and Protecting them from Bad Company
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - Monday, May 16th 2016 [ME NewsWire]
The National Rehabilitation Center (NRC) urged families to closely monitor their children’s behaviors, keep them on track with their academic work and protect them from the dangers of drug abuse.
Dr. Ali Al Marzouqi, Director of the Public Health and Research Department at the NRC, warned parents of the seriousness of drugs, as drug abuse is not something that is simply ‘unlikely,’ but rather something that is possible, and parents are often surprised to find out that their children are drug addicted. “The NRC has dealt with many cases of parents that were shocked when they knew that their children were using drugs,” he said.
Dr. Al Marzouqi also underscored the importance of prevention and care when monitoring children for the early signs of drug abuse and addiction, thereby helping to either prevent or avoid them reaching an advanced stage of drug addiction. “Drug abuse may begin as a curiosity for some people who start with small quantities. The doses gradually increase until they reach the stage of drug addiction, at which point the patient faces the negative effects of drug withdrawal when they try to stop and end up committing crimes to get more drugs to feed the addiction,” explained Dr. Al Marzouqi.
The Director of Public Health and Research Department at the NRC urged the community to treat drug addicts as ‘patients’ and not to stigmatize them. “Drug addicts need the support of the whole community to address the position they have reached, as well as their family and the people in charge of their treatment, in order to enable them to resume their normal life,” noted Dr. Al Marzouqi.
He pointed out that some cases of drug addiction, especially among adolescents, are a result of social, financial, family, or educational issues. “In these cases, the patient thinks that they can resolve these problems by resorting to drugs, only to fall victim to an even bigger problem,” said Al Marzouqi.
“Unfortunately, the reality is that bad friends are the ones who are encouraging this group to resort to drugs. People who are unable to tolerate tough circumstances, or face life’s difficulties when there is added peer pressure, are the very people who are more vulnerable to drug abuse.”
Al Marzouqi added that it is sad to see that some families do not face up to the fact that their children are drug addicts, for fear of being stigmatized. “They mistakenly believe that the problem is simple and can be solved within the family, without thinking of taking their children to a rehabilitation center to be treated by specialists,” he said.
He also noted that the head of the family sometimes loses faith in his drug-addicted child and kicks them out of the house. “Parents must view their drug-addicted child as a patient who needs sympathy, they must help them seek treatment and also take part in the therapeutic process themselves,” he asserted.
On the same note, Dr. Al Marzouqi praised the Khalifa Student Empowerment Program’s “Aqdar” initiative, aimed at raising the awareness of drug risks. “Prevention is better than treatment,” he said. Moreover, he called for awareness and outreach campaigns across social networks to intensify and convey messages that resonate with the way the young generation think, in the hope that the initiative achieves the success it seeks.
He pointed out that the National Rehabilitation Center created a strategy focused on raising awareness for prevention. “As part of this initiative, several measures were launched this year to prevent young people from falling into the clutches of drugs, including the Fawasel Program.” This five-month program was implemented for the second year in a row in a group of private schools, with the aim of strengthening the abilities of young people, especially during adolescence, to enable them to deal with pressure from bad friends. The program also trained both teachers and parents to communicate with the adolescent child in a simple way,” said Al Marzouqi.
He added: “A series of awareness lectures were launched in cooperation with the Family Development Foundation, geared to parents throughout their community centers in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. An awareness campaign targeting 70 schools in the Emirate was launched in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) to raise awareness of the early signs of addiction. NFC also held periodic awareness lectures with universities, schools and employers, and provided some programs for patients to teach them the English language and how to use computers. The center concluded an agreement with Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council (ADTC) aiming to find suitable jobs for the center’s patients, while providing financial support for them and their families, as part of the center's societal role.”
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