Dubai: Combating drugs, finding solutions for drug addiction and countering promotion of drugs via social media will be the main topics of dicsussions at the 13th edition of the Hemaya International Forum in Dubai.
Despite the decline in the number of youngsters addicted to drugs in the UAE, police forces still want to be prepared for the future as drug problem still poses a challenge with the rapid changes in technology and more people using social media networks, Major-General Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs of Dubai Police, told a press conference in Dubai on Thursday.
“There is reduction in drug addiction in the country as we provided rehabilitation sessions and found jobs for drug addicts. We have also foiled many drug smuggling attempts and arrested many drug dealers even outside the UAE. This forum will provide an opportunity to discuss combating drugs and to be prepared for the future drug problems,” said Major-General Al Mansouri.
He said government and private institutions across the region need to develop long-term and proactive solutions, adopt new polices, develop a new framework and keep abreast of the latest developments, especially in overcoming the complex issues of drugs, in order to implement proper treatment mechanisms and rehabilitate those affected by drug issues.
The subject of this year’s forum is titled ‘Foreseeing the Future of the Global Combat of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances: Predictions, Preparations and Prevention Strategies for 2030’, said Major-General Mohammad Saeed Al Merri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Community Happiness and Logistics at Dubai Police.
“This year, the forum is expected to have participants from more than 30 countries. Most of the participants who are from the police forces in their respective countries are high-ranking officials,” he added.
He noted that it was one of the most prominent events in the region “to understand and overcome drug issues in our communities”, organised by the Dubai Police in cooperation with the United Nations and a number of regional and international partners.
Online drug trade
Dubai Police said the future has many challenges related to combating drugs as dealers are increasingly using social media networks to promote drugs among youth.
“It is a worrying problem now as drugs are being sold on the internet around the world. There are incidents, outside the UAE, of drug business using a digital currency and Darknet,” said Lt-Colonel Dr Abdul Rahman Sharaf, acting director of the International Training Service Centre and general coordinator of the Hemaya Forum.
He stated the forum will discuss the various drug issues that are expected by 2030.
“The forum plans to explore all opportunities available with a forward-looking mindset and this will involve the efforts taken by drug control agencies, physicians, pharmacists, health and therapeutic personnel working in the field of drug abuse and addiction.”
Colonel Khalid Bin Moyazeh, deputy director of Anti-Narcotic Department of Dubai Police, explained that the forum has devoted a youth dialogue session on ‘Youth’s roles and responsibilities in the prevention of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances: Strategy and Empowerment Tools.
Colonel Bin Moyazeh added that the forum will attract more than 40 organisations from the region and the world, showcasing the latest products and services.
The forum will be held on February 11-12 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.