Abu Dhabi: The National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) in Abu Dhabi has received a prestigious certification from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna, becoming the first rehabilitation centre in the Gulf and Middle East region to earn this outstanding recognition.
The Centre was awarded the certificate as a Participant and Collaborative Centre’ after fulfilling all the requirements for participation in the ‘Drug and Substance Use Testing Laboratories’ programme.
NRC’s Clinical Toxicology Laboratory successfully passed all the tests and eligibility requirements as a highly qualified centre for qualitative and quantitative testing of drugs and narcotic substances in biological samples.
The Centre began its preparations for the certification in 2018 when a meeting was held between an NRC delegation led by its Director General His Excellency Dr Hamad Abdullah Al Ghafri, with the officials of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime at the Department of Laboratory and Scientific Affairs, Research and Drug Trend Analysis Branch, Division of Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, during the Centre’s annual participation in the meetings of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND).
Following this meeting, the Centre applied to the ‘ICE & EWA schemes supervised by the United Nations, through its Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna.
The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2017 appointed NRC as a collaborative centre in the field of prevention and treatment of disorders resulting from the use of psychotropic substances, making the Centre the first addiction treatment centre in the UAE to receive this designation in the Middle East.
This recognition strengthened NRC’s status as a leading centre in the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation from addiction at regional and global levels.
His Excellency Dr Hamad Abdullah Al Ghafri, Director General of NRC, said: “This outstanding achievement solidifies the UAE’s prominent status and puts the emirate of Abu Dhabi at the forefront of Middle East’s efforts to promote mental health and prevent addiction. This accomplishment would not have been possible without the support of our wise leadership and their guidance that enable us to compete regionally and globally.”
“NRC’s efforts in combating addiction and psychotropic substances have contributed to raising community awareness of the dangers of drugs through innovative programmes and plans designed to address this pressing issue. Such efforts are made in conjunction with the development of treatment services, studies and scientific research that will achieve the Centre’s operational objectives.”
“NRC has always demonstrated its regional status as a leading centre in the delivery of addiction prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services. Furthermore, the Centre has set new benchmarks in providing treatment, rehabilitation and training services through adopting effective and scientifically-proven methods in the treatment of addiction.
“The certification by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime validates the outstanding services the Centre provides to the local community and raises its profile at a global level. Furthermore, it encourages us to work hard towards more achievements in the field of addiction control and treatment in future.
Obtaining the certification of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime as a ‘Successful and Collaborative Participant Center’ requires the aspiring institute to participate in four consecutive courses in two cycles a year by receiving samples of unknown materials, and to perform the necessary steps towards analysing them for the detection and recognition of unknown component substances. The results must then be sent to the United Nations Office at Vienna for comparison and correction to determine the accuracy, quality and efficiency of the devices and methods used in extracting and analysing narcotic substances and toxins in the unknown and seized samples.
The duration of participation in the programme is two full years, and the participants need to fulfil all the requirements of the relevant authorities to pass the test and obtain the certification of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime as a Participant and Collaborative Center’ through its global programme.