In 2010, the Outpatient clinic was opened which soon witnessed noticeable increase in the numbers of clients particularly that it offers the best treatment services to patients who receive treatment while getting on with their normal lives, their work and activities.
In 2012, Khalifa Rehabilitation Compound (KRC) was opened. KRC offers its services to all segments of Emirati society using state-of-the-art equipment and medical tools.
The centre adhered to provide treatment and rehabilitation services on the hands of a multi-disciplinary team working under the watchful eyes of world-renowned experts and experienced therapists while maintaining the utmost respect to the Emirati cultural characteristics as well as adhering to Islamic values.
In February 2014, the NRC, in collaboration with the Colombo Plan, organized the First Global Forum for Youth Leaders on Drug Use Prevention in Abu Dhabi. The forum was well attended as 400 young men and women representing 40 countries took part in the event.
The forum lasted for an entire week during which participants were trained on a number of leadership and presentation skills to enable them carry out awareness-raising programmes against drug and substance abuse in institutes and institutions where they study using innovative methods.
During the period stretching from 2013 to 2015 the NRC, carried out the biggest survey in the country as a joint project with the UNODC and with the participation of over 20 local and federal entities.
During the study which results were unveiled in May 2015 deep rooted data on scale of prevalence of drug problem in the country, its economic burden and put forward strategic recommendations to halt its adverse effects.
The NRC has launched several campaigns to raise awareness in society. International events were targeted to deliver awareness messages and to call for greater prevention measures; as it was the case with the campaigns launched by the centre in 2014 and 2015 to coincide with the International Anti-Drug Day and which were amongst the biggest campaigns and had an noticeable media impact which succeeded in getting the message to all segments of society.
Achievements of the NRC did not stop there. In order to realize the NRC’s Vision to become a leading centre of excellence in addiction science an agreement was signed with World Health Organization; and to put into practice the agreement’s clauses world renown experts and specialists were brought together in order to reach an agreement regarding the International Classification of Addiction and Co-occurring Diseases ICD 11 as a prelude to its adoption and to be put before the UN General Assembly in 2017 for ratification.
This would strengthen the NRC’s role to become a regional cooperation centre and a scientific reference in the Middle East within the World Health Organization in the area of addiction sciences.
Furthermore, to achieve the special priority related to the alleviation of the burden of addiction through instituting a National Surveillance System for addiction and drugs, the Mechanisms for Building a National Monitoring System for Monitoring Drugs and Substances and their Use Workshop was organized in collaboration with partners and stake holders with view of highlighting the system’s requirements vis-à-vis the gathering and analysis of permanent and organized information and data from various sources (health, security, educational-related and others) which will be analyzed in order to assist the decision makers in assessing prevention and treatment strategies and determine the most suitable and efficient interventions to alleviate the burden of addiction disease.
A number of partners participated in the workshop such as HAAD, Abu Dhabi Educational Council, Ministry of Interior, Family Development Foundation and others.
The NRC’s achievements continue. A workshop entitled Setting Up an Overall Policy Framework in Schools for Prevention from Drugs and Substances was held and all phases of the project have been fulfilled: the importance of having a drug policy, identification of loopholes in policies and requirements through holding a workshop and inviting partners and specialists in order to reach recommendation which will then be put in school policy framework.
This project aims at putting an end to the spread of drugs in schools and identifies a set of measures on how to deal with drugs and substances in schools.
Moreover, the NRC endeavors to realize its objectives concerning the provision of treatment and rehabilitation services to all segments of society by means of providing assessment and treatment to national service conscripts and military reservists. NRC specialists carry out assessment sessions to military service conscripts as a contribution to serving the community and detect addiction in its early stages which will reduce the burden of disease if it were to be left to develop to advance stages.
An MoU was signed with Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council with the view of rehabilitating and developing capacity amongst recovering nationals in order to help them enter the job market and find employment opportunities that suit them.
Another sons of Emirates achievement on the international arena is the election of Dr Hamad Al Ghaferi, Director General of the National Rehabilitation Centre to preside over The International Commission for Certification and Education of Addiction Professionals during a meeting held in Abu Dhabi, UAE in February 2015 to become the first person from the Arab World to hold this position.
During his two-year tenure Dr Al Ghaferi is mandated mainly to make specialized prevention, treatment and rehabilitation-related training and learning accessible to all locally, regionally and internationally.
Putting into practice “Unplugged” Fawasil comprehensive awareness programme, collaboration between the NRC and Emirates National Schools designed to improve life skills of 12-14 year old pupils to enable them to make the appropriate decisions and train them to become effective members in society.
What is worth mentioning is that the programme seeks to develop pupils’ skills on four major axis including life and prevention from risky behaviour skills, health and safety, psychological health and accountability and social participation.
The NRC celebrated the graduation of 31 students who completed their Practical Psychological Skills and Abilities in Mental Health Diploma. This diploma is collaboration between the NRC, the Faculty of Medicine, UAE University and King’s College London and is a series of workshops developed by the NRC, King’s College and Maudsley International in 2009 after which a postgraduate diploma is granted.
The programme targets multidisciplinary specialists working in the healthcare sector who utilize psychological skills in their daily work. The objective is to improve their psychological abilities which will benefit their work which in turn will benefit the patient. The programme is considered an addition to the centre due to the fact that it is the first of its kind in the country and the region; especially that those in charge of delivering it are elite of internationally renowned experts.
Finally, in order to realize the centre’s Strategic Priority regarding the provision and development of distinguished treatment and rehabilitation services and with a view of liaising and cooperating with different partners the NRc signed an MoU with UAE Chess Federation in order to introduce chess in the patients’ rehabilitation programme as chess is considered a game that requires mental skills, encourages creative thinking and contributes in developing leadership skills which bear a positive resonance on the recovery process.
During its relative brief existence, the NRC has attained numerous achievements. Some of these relate to agreements, partnerships and MoUs with local and international institutions. In 2007, the NRC organized the Emirates’ International Conference on Addiction and set up a partnership with King’s College London with a view of providing a training programme specialized in addiction and pharmacology.
It also signed an MoU with Harvard McClean on the basis of which the centre adheres to the application of international standards-consistent treatment programmes adopted by international centres of excellence specialized in drug use at McClean Hospital in order to obtain International Accreditation for health facilities. There is also the partnership agreement with the Faculty of Medicine, UAE University under which liaison and cooperation take place concerning the hosting scientific gatherings, developing training programmes and carrying out medical and psychological rehabilitation-related research.
In 2012 a MoU was signed with the Matrix Institute, USA with the view of providing training services and realize the NRC’s Vision to become accredited in providing Outpatient Clinic services on the basis of the Matrix Model.
2010 was a fresh start for the centre as a new strategic plan was put in place which aim is to shift the focus from providing treatment to addiction patients to a leading centre that provides high quality treatment and prevention programmes aimed at serving all segments of society in order to tackle the phenomenon of addiction; a menace that threatens all societies without exceptions. The 2010 Strategic Plan was based on priorities which emphasize the provision of health awareness and prevention programmes to all segments of society in Abu Dhabi.
These priorities are based on the development of recent research and studies-backed prevention and awareness curricula, increase capacity of the NRC to tackle current and future demands, provide addiction treatment services for all segments of society and reintegration of rehabilitated patients back in society; in addition to the training and employment of experienced staff while maintaining highly skilled and experienced staff, improve efficiency and achieve excellence in Operations Department. A year after the adoption of the new Strategic Plan the NRC received the ISO 9001 Certificate on condition that it continues to provide the highest quality of service and adheres to quality standards for the certificate to be renewed on a yearly basis.