Abu Dhabi’s Department of Community Development (DCD) has launched the Abu Dhabi Integrated Strategy to Combat Addiction. Its aim is to protect society from drugs and help individuals remain productive members of society.
As part of the strategy, a host of programs are to be initiated in collaboration with DCD’s partners to educate community members about the dangers of drugs and help patients to reintegrate into families and society.
- Ensure that drugs are supplied only through authorized dealers, more active border controls, and elimination of illegal drug distribution networks.
- Conduct awareness and prevention campaigns, while adopting a proactive intervention policy.
- Ensure high quality treatment and rehabilitation programs.
- Social reintegration of patients.
- That drug addiction is not a crime and that patients need treatment and assistance.
- A balanced approach to reduce supply and demand.
- Early prevention and societal awareness.
- Making treatment and rehabilitation support accessible to all, including men, women, minors, and prisoners.
- Enhance shared responsibility among all segments starting from individuals, families, government, private and third sector.
- Intensifying control and inspection in coordination with relevant authorities.
- Reducing substance use rate and raising awareness about the dangers of addiction through prevention and awareness programs.
- Encourage citizens to seek support and treatment voluntarily.
- Reduce mortality rate related to addiction and overdose.
- Increase rate of reintegrated recovered patients from substance use disorder in the society to ensure a dignified life.
- Reduce social stigma related to substance use and addiction.
DCD will implement the strategy in two phases, and in coordination with relevant authorities. Specialized taskforce will be responsible to ensure that the five pillars of the strategy are implemented. These pillars include supply reduction, prevention, identification and treatment, reintegration, and enablers.
The first phase will include media campaigns to raise awareness and highlight families’ role in preventing drug abuse and tackling social stigma around addiction.
Additionally, awareness and prevention programs will be integrated into Abu Dhabi’s school curricula, in coordination with the Early Childhood Authority. In parallel, in coordinating with health sector to activate primary health care through identifying scope of services across the model of care and by establishing proper plans to activate services in primary health centers, adapting models and tools to activate its services.
The second phase of the strategy implementation that starts in 2023 and ends in 2024 will see DCD develop operational and implementation plans in cooperation with relevant entities.
The taskforce responsible for supply reduction includes representatives from the Department of Community Development, the Ministry of Interior, Abu Dhabi Police, Abu Dhabi Customs, National Rehabilitation Center, and Health and Judicial Departments. Through monitoring different distribution channels and new narcotic substances, enhance the ability to target and inspect cargo shipments at Abu Dhabi’s ports, and develop an integrated program to enhance competency to inspect goods.
The prevention taskforce will include members from Department of Community Development, the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Education, Department of Education and Knowledge, Department of Health, Abu Dhabi Police, National Rehabilitation Center, Family Development Foundation, Early Childhood Authority, Abu Dhabi Media Company, Abu Dhabi Center for Public Health, and Family Care Authority. The taskforce will implement a set of initiatives, including integration of an awareness program into school curricula in Abu Dhabi, launching a Hi-tech innovative prevention program targeting youth, launching a anti-drug program among youth based on current available program in the National Rehabilitation Center, a social media campaign to encourage a healthy lifestyle, early childhood programs to meet the needs of high-risk families, and community education programs and implementing a community based program around drug related risks.
The identification and treatment taskforce includes Department of Community Development, the Ministry of Education, Departments of Health, Education and Knowledge, Abu Dhabi Police, Abu Dhabi Public Health Center, National Rehabilitation Center, Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, Family Development Foundation, and Private sector.
The taskforce will prepare effective implementation mechanisms for examination, follow-up and referral procedures, launch multichannel platforms provide information on drug-related issues, including treatment recommendations, enable specialists to intervene and detect high-risk cases, define the scope of health services and activate treatment programs in private and public primary health centers, establish a structured referral procedure, roll out overdose prevention programs upon release from prison, juvenile centers and/or rehabilitation centers, involve the private sector in treatment and rehabilitation, provide integrated inpatient capacity for the treatment of women and minors, in addition to applying a hybrid treatment model that includes care for individuals inside and outside prisons.
The reintegration taskforce includes the Department of Community Development, Ministry of Education, Departments of Culture and Tourism, Department of Education and Knowledge, National Rehabilitation Center, Human Resources Authority, Abu Dhabi Media Company, Emirates Foundation for Youth Development, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Abu Dhabi Center for Technical Vocational Education and Training, Abu Dhabi Public Health Center, Family Care Authority, the private sector, and associations.
The main tasks of the taskforce include developing a comprehensive model for community reintegration to support individuals recovering from addiction, activating the role of social institutions and public benefit associations concerned with combating addiction, developing programs for art and music therapy for recovering individuals, providing sports programs for recovering individuals, spreading a societal culture about addiction based on scientific foundations, and developing programs that focus on specialists and professionals who are not healthcare workers and who deal with substance use disorder.
The enabling taskforce includes representatives of Department of Community Development, Ministry of Interior, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, Abu Dhabi Police, Department of Health, Judicial Department, National Rehabilitation Center and Family Care Authority.
Its primary tasks include ensuring patient confidentiality, implementing an integrated case management system by setting procedures for recording, monitoring risk factors in early stages to provide appropriate interventions, limit the initiation of abuse, and establishing a specialized committee prosecution model for substance use disorder.