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Guard against depression, families of drug addicts warned.

Summary: Ownak social rehab centre urges parents to build right environment to prevent relapse

Dubai: Families of drug addicts must guard against the dangers of slipping into depression after the long-drawn process of rehabilitation, an official at a Dubai-based rehab centre has warned.

Speaking to Gulf News, Dr Huda Abdullah Al Suwaidi, director of the Vulnerable Group Department at Ownak Social Rehabilitation Centre in Dubai, also urged families to create the right environment for recovery, else there could be relapse in the addiction problem.

She said, "Sometimes families embrace their drug addict children in a wrong way by providing for all their needs which interferes with the recovery process and makes the child go back to drugs. The dangers of a relapse are real if families don't watch out," Dr Al Suwaidi told Gulf News.

She said sometimes families spoil their children by providing them with a lot of money and wordily comforts which hampers the rehabilitation process, which is all about exercising restraint.

"Families are responsible for 50 per cent of the rehab process. The recovered addict should believe there is a sense of loss -- like staying away from children, being removed from the house -- if he returns to addiction," she said.

Dr Al Suwaidi said that in some cases, families go into depression by the end of the long-drawn recovery process.

She said parents looking after an addicted child would be doing the rounds of the police stations, hospitals and rehab centres. This can be draining and they can go into depression by the time the child recovers when they get a feeling they have nothing left to do.

"The addicts blackmail their families and emotionally exploit them. At the end of it all, families are affected because they feel the main purpose of their life was to solve the addiction problem. When the problem gets solved, they feel empty inside," she added.

In one case, a woman sought help from the centre after she dedicated her life to her addicted brother, following which her husband divorced her. When her brother recovered from addiction, she felt a complete sense of loss.

Dr Huda said 26 per cent of drug addicts are affected by other addicted family members, according to a study Ownak conducted among 257 Emirati drug addicts at Dubai Central Jail. Eighty-seven per cent of them had an addicted brother.

Dr Huda said the Ownak Rehabilitation Centre helps families deal with the problem.

"We support recovered addicts and their families through integration and social care programmes offered by psychological and social specialists, in addition to raising awareness among youngsters in schools and universities as well as family support programmes aimed at teaching families about the proper way of dealing with addicts," she said.

What is the Ownak Centre?

The Ownak Social Rehabilitation Centre was established by Community Development Authority (CDA) to raise awareness about the dangers of addiction, drug abuse and psychoactive substances, as well as to provide social rehabilitation services for Emiratis recovering from addiction.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Jun 8, 2019
Words:515
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