A delegation from the National Rehabilitation Center (NRC) recently presented an overview of its expertise on the prevention and treatment of drug overdose at the 57th Session of Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) held in United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna.
H.E. Dr. Hamad Al Ghaferi, NRC's Director General participated in a scientific discussion that came with recommendations presented to the ministers and agents responsible for drug prevention globally, in the attendance of Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden.
NRC presented a research paper which covered the top challenges the center faces in delivering prevention, rehabilitation, and aftercare programs. Statistics related to drug overdose were also revealed, for example, the number of drug overdose patients during the last four years was recorded at 33 patients. Around 42% were under 30 years old while around 58% were between the ages of 30-45. NRC statistics have also revealed that 76% of the total number of drug overdose cases were related to opioid addiction.
During its 57th session, the CND approved a set of recommendations which included: the importance of dealing with the substance use as a disease to be treated, and not as a legal or ethical issue; methods and quality of treatment which should be tailored to the type and intensity of disorder associated with drug abuse; and, that the treatment level should be based on the type and intensity of the disease. Continued collaboration, coordination among scientists and researchers, and engaging the primary healthcare sector, and activating its role in the early detection of the disorder were also officially recommended. Additionally, the recommendations confirmed that dealing with this issue as a crime and setting criminal sanctions without the appropriate therapeutic intervention was often leading to negative results.
Taking place on the sidelines of the CND, NRC and Colombo Plan formally launched the quarterly ‘International Journal for the Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse’. The medical resource focuses on psychology, addiction, substances and disorders related to drug use and encourages related regional researches and studies. NRC is the organization responsible for publishing the journal in the Arabic language – a first for the region.
H.E. Al Ghaferi said: “The UAE has made significant strides in the field of rehabilitation over the last few years; our participation in the UNODC CND meeting cements the role the UAE is playing internationally. By being active participants at this meeting, we had the chance to sit with our counterparts and benefit from knowledge sharing, data collection, response and monitoring.”
H.E Al Ghaferi concluded: “We would like to thank all of our partners in the UNODC for inviting the NRC to take part in this important meeting as we were able to demonstrate our expertise and also learn from our counterparts. We mutually believe in the importance of expanding accessibility to substance dependence treatment and care, strengthening the scientific base at the international level and working with decision makers to generate effective policies based on proper scientific data and practical execution.”