Speakers differ on digital drugs, effects
Conference in Dubai discusses effects of digital stimulants and need for law
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’.