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‘Re­formed’ heroin ad­dict in warn­ing to youth

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - @is­mailsebu is­mail@7days.ae

More than 20 years of drug abuse cost Tareq his mar­riage, his friends, fam­ily and his job in the pub­lic sec­tor.

And now the 46-year-old - who has been clean for four months - has urged young peo­ple not to make the same mis­takes he did.

7DAYS spoke to Tareq, who asked not to give his sec­ond name, after his re­cov­ery at the Na­tional Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­tre in Abu Dhabi.

The Emi­rati was an ad­dict for al­most 26 years, spend­ing his time and money on heroin.

It drove his wife and fam­ily away. He said he an­grily abused his par­ents when they con­fronted him.

Tareq fi­nally faced his ad­dic­tion after one of his friends al­most died of an over­dose.

“Drugs al­most de­stroyed me,” said Tareq, who started us­ing at 20 after fall­ing in with a group of friends who were into drugs. He said he felt peer pres­sure to fol­low. “I was dis­owned by my fam­ily and friends.” Us­ing heroin on a daily ba­sis made him fur­ther lose self-con­fi­dence, which also re­sulted in him be­ing fired from work.

“I lost my job be­cause of sub­stance abuse. I be­came un­em­ployed and use­less,” said Tareq. “I also got di­vorced.” He said he could not re­mem­ber how much money he would spend on drugs, but that it cost him dearly in ev­ery way. He said nar­cotics By Is­mail Se­bug­waawo led to psy­cho­log­i­cal prob­lems and he be­came in­tro­verted. “I never wanted to talk to any­one,” he said. He started drink­ing, which made it even worse as he be­came more ag­gres­sive and rude.

“After drink­ing, I would abuse my par­ents when­ever they said some­thing about me.”

Tareq said that one day, one of his friends was hos­pi­talised and al­most died.

“He only just sur­vived after a drug over­dose,” he said.

“God just helped him re­cover after spend­ing weeks in hospi­tal. I spoke to a friend, also, a for­mer ad­dict who ad­vised me to seek treat­ment from the Na­tional Re­hab. He told me the same re­hab also helped him quit sub­stance abuse.” Tareq said he has been re­ceiv­ing treat­ment for more than seven months now. The cen­tre treats UAE na­tion­als in pro­grammes last­ing eight, 12, and 16 weeks. Ad­dicts who hand them­selves in are not pros­e­cuted.

“I am so grate­ful that the treat­ment and coun­selling have helped me quit drugs,” he said.

“I am a re­formed man now and have been able to re­unite with fam­ily and friends.”

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