DUBAI, 28th April, 2019 (WAM) -- The 14th Hemaya International Forum began today at the Madinat Jumeirah Conference and Events Center in Dubai, discussing "The Role of Security, Education and Research Institutions in Countering Drugs and Psychotropic Substances: The Current and Future Challenges" under the theme 'Learn to Protect'.
The event, held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, is being organised by the Dubai Police and INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – a member of INDEX Holding, and running until the 29th of April.
The two-day pivotal gathering in Dubai, aims to explore new ways to address the issue of drug abuse and find innovative strategies to eliminate the dangers of drug addiction.
Commenting on this occasion, Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Chairman of INDEX Holding said, "The UAE has always placed the issue of drug abuse on top of its priorities with the implementation of counter-narcotics strategies, stringent regulatory measures and technical capabilities for combating this ever-growing problem. This is clearly evident by UAE's efforts both locally and internationally as well as the cooperation and coordination between the entities and institutions working in the field of drug control to build a promising future for the next generations."
This year, the Hemaya International Forum featured a rich comprehensive agenda and is expected to attract over 1500 visitors and participants from all over the world over the next 2 days while 22 local and international expert speakers will offer their insights on a number of key trending topics during 15 scientific sessions and 7 specialised workshops to highlight the issues and challenges related to combating drug abuse and addiction.
On the first day, Abdulmajeed bin Abdullah Al-Bunyan, President of Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, spoke about 'Challenges of the Knowledge & Scientific Gap' in addition to its Considerations to Encounter Drug Abuse and Psychotropic Effects', while Dr. Ali Wardak, Professor of Criminology, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of South Wales, focused his attention on 'Opium Production and Trafficking: Gaps in Research and Academic Knowledge'.
Commenting on Community Development Authority's participation in Hemaya International Forum, Ahmed Julfar, Director General of CDA, said that the authority's participation in the fourteenth edition of Hemaya International Forum comes from the belief in the importance of spreading community awareness about the different and interrelated aspects of the addiction as a disease and the preventive awareness associated to it.
Julfar said that facing addiction is a social responsibility, that starts from protecting and supporting the addicts to overcome what they went through in order to complete their recovery, and to integrate smoothly in their families and the surrounding community.
"Addiction is an international issue and we cannot ignore it by isolating or eliminating addicts from being fully integrated into the society. Although prevention remains the most important and successful factor we should work on, recovery from addiction is not a dream nor a difficult task to reach as long as the necessary factors are available." He said.
"Ownak Social Rehabilitation Centre managed by CDA, provides social rehabilitation services for those recovering from addiction and those who are at risk of it. Post-care is the most critical stage of a recovery journey, and roles are broadened to include the family and the community, because integration, empowerment and support are essential," he added.
Dr. Ali Wardak, Professor of Criminology, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of South Wales, said, "As we live in an increasingly globalised world, illicit drug availability and its usage at a global level has become a complex and serious problem and we need to put in place more protective strategies to overcome drug abuse and addiction now more than ever before. One key aspect of protecting society effectively against illicit drug use is acquiring more in-depth knowledge about it and raising awareness about its serious negative implications on our society. As young people are increasingly at risk, disseminating this knowledge through school's curricula is extremely crucial and far more effective."
On his side, Dr. Jassim Al Awadhi, Assistant Professor, Dubai Police Academy, said, "As educational entities in the academic world, we have no choice but to play our role in gaining more knowledge about the world of drugs, drug users and criminal networks and organisations that support the illicit drug activities.
From his side, David Robert Richards, CEO of Brynawel Drugs & Alcohol Rehabilitation – UK, said, "In a world in which we face a common threat from drug abuse and addiction it is vital that we learn and share our learning, in order to better protect our people and communities. I, therefore, congratulate the organisers of this year's Hemaya International Forum on their choice of theme "Learn to Protect".