UAE families blamed for worsening teen drug addiction

The drug problem among teenagers in the UAE has worsened over the past years with the detection of addiction cases at the age of just 12 years.

Police blamed families for the problem on the grounds they do not give enough time for their children.

According to the juvenile awareness and care association in Dubai’s police, the average rate of communication between local families and their children does not exceed 15 minutes a week, equivalent to the rate in the US society.

“Even when they meet in one room, it has been noticed that all family members are busy in chatting on their mobile phones,” the association’s secretary general Dr Mohammed Murad said, quoted by the Arabic language daily Emarat Alyoum.

“As a result, the family’s role has steadily receded over the past years…studies conducted by the society showed there was a decline in the age of some addicts to just 12 years compared with 16 years previously…we believe there is a need for a legislation against the parents of juvenile delinquents,” he was reported as saying during the society’s annual function in Dubai on Wednesday.

He said fathers shoulder most of the responsibility in this respect as they often do not ask their children “where they spend their time or why they return home late night.”

“There is a problem in the family’s communication with the children….five or six of them could meet in one room but they are all busy in other things such as chatting through their mobile phones….we believe that the modern communication systems have created a sort of isolation with the family,”he said.

“There is a need for strong communication between the parents and the children…there are some values which the children can acquire only through their parents.”

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