Gulf News

Speak­ers dif­fer on dig­i­tal drugs, ef­fects

Con­fer­ence in Dubai dis­cusses ef­fects of dig­i­tal stim­u­lants and need for law

- Medications · Pharmacology · Medicine · Dubai · United Arab Emirates

Au­thor­i­ties should recog­nise the dan­gers of dig­i­tal drugs in the so­ci­ety and is­sue a law crim­i­nal­is­ing them even if there is still no sci­en­tific ev­i­dence prov­ing their neg­a­tive ef­fects, a lawyer said dur­ing the sixth In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence of Sport Ver­sus Crime.

Dig­i­tal drugs are sound­tracks called ‘bin­au­ral tones’ that young­sters and adults lis­ten to reach al­tered states of con­scious­ness. But the de­bate has con­tin­ued over whether the drugs mimic the same ef­fect of con­ven­tional drugs and cause ad­dic­tion or not.

Al­ge­rian lawyer Nasima Amal Hifri warned that such bin­au­ral beats, eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble over the in­ter­net from web­sites, some­times avail­able for free, can pose a risk to Arab so­ci­eties and their con­sump­tion should be crim­i­nalised.

“There is no harm in pass­ing a law that crim­i­nalises dig­i­tal drugs, even if claims of drug-in­duced feel­ings haven’t been yet ver­i­fied. We can­not wait un­til a dis­as­ter strikes,” she told a full-house au­di­ence on the sec­ond day of the con­fer­ence in a ses­sion ti­tled ‘The dan­ger of dig­i­tal stim­u­lants in the ab­sence of leg­is­la­tion’.

She said stud­ies trac­ing the brain ac­tiv­ity of in­di­vid­u­als after lis­ten­ing to bin­au­ral tones showed a state of mind that is sim­i­lar to the state of mind that fol­lows drug con­sump­tion. “There was a di­rect im­pact on the brain. “There is cur­rently no leg­is­la­tion any­where be­cause the de­bate is that how can lis­ten­ing to crim­i­nal notes be crim­i­nalised, and how will those lis­ten­ing to them be tracked,” said Hifri.

Colonel Dr Jasem Khalil Mirza, di­rec­tor of the se­cu­rity aware­ness depart­ment at Dubai Po­lice, how­ever, said dig­i­tal drugs are not a phe­nom­e­non in the UAE, but the real prob­lem re­mains with the con­sump­tion of “ac­tual drugs”.

“Around three the phe­nom­e­non years ago, with dig­i­tal stim­u­lants sur­faced in the me­dia across the Arab world, but un­til to­day there is a lack of sci­en­tific ev­i­dence prov­ing their im­pact and their ef­fect re­mains a myth. I my­self tried lis­ten­ing to those au­dio notes to see what they can do, and I did not be­come un­con­scious or ad­dicted, there was no im­pact what­so­ever,” he said.

He said: “I don’t think there is a need to fight some­thing that doesn’t ex­ist. There is no proof it’s a sub­sti­tute to other drugs and that the vi­bra­tions lead to an ad­dic­tion. If it is proven in the fu­ture, then we will adopt laws that fight it and launch pro­grammes that tar­get youth.”

Col Mirza said, “Ec­stasy pills, nar­cotics and tra­madol abuse are in­stead the wide­spread phe­nom­e­non in the Arab world and a chal­leng­ing is­sue that au­thor­i­ties con­tinue fight­ing.”

The con­fer­ence is be­ing held by the Gen­eral Head­quar­ters of Dubai Po­lice un­der the theme ‘Sports Make the So­ci­ety Happy’.

 ?? Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News ?? Stu­dents at­tend a ses­sion on the dan­gers of dig­i­tal stim­u­lants and the ab­sence of leg­is­la­tion dur­ing the 6th In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence of Sport Ver­sus Crime in Dubai yes­ter­day.
Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News Stu­dents at­tend a ses­sion on the dan­gers of dig­i­tal stim­u­lants and the ab­sence of leg­is­la­tion dur­ing the 6th In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence of Sport Ver­sus Crime in Dubai yes­ter­day.
 ?? Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News ??
Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
 ?? Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News ??
Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

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