The National Rehabilitation Centre in Abu Dhabi (NRC) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) held a coordinating meeting with strategic partners to review the framework, objectives and pre-requisites of an assessment study of the current situation in the United Arab Emirates. The meeting aimed at establishing a data base that helps monitor and evaluate drug dependence in the run up of tailoring a national anti-drug strategy.

Experts from the NRC, consultants from the UNODC and European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), and representatives of government and non-government sectors will join forces to assess the current situation and conduct a study on impact of drug-related infectious diseases on the community, set priorities for response, assess the national monitoring infrastructure, harness information resources in order to develop a sustainable data base on drug. The study will also lead to the drafting of an action plan.

The NRC was set up in 2002 as an independent treatment and rehabilitation centre to provide prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services to recovering drug abusers in Abu Dhabi while respecting cultural values. The Centre provides inpatient and outpatient treatment, health awareness education, professional training, research and rehabilitation. The NRC has been a member of IDPC since October 2010.

The NRC is currently working with UNODC to increase its capacity to receive more patients, raise public awareness and develop efficient methods for collecting data on drug abuse nationwide. The NRC has contributed to a collaborative programme with UNODC aimed at establishing the NRC as a resource centre for regional drug demand reduction, on the basis of a three-phase approach: (i) assessment of the current situation and needs and political positioning of the Centre as the leading centre for the drug demand reduction response in the United Arab Emirates; (ii) definition of the structure of the services to be offered; and (iii) expansion of the Centre to become a resource facility for the Middle East and North Africa, capable of training other centres, experts and/or practitioners in good practices in drug use prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

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