Real Patient Stories

The NRC present some of the Real Patient Stories who recovered from the addiction by there strong well, the stories try to communicate what changes took place for the individual, what it meant to them, and whether there were any key factors or circumstances that helped and maintained both thinking or behavior change. The stories offer inspiration and hope for both individuals and their families with the realization that recovery is possible. A holistic, inclusive and person-centered approach was used.

Ali: My Insistence on treatment is the best apology to my family

It is said that if you lose your wealth, you actually lose nothing, and if you lose your health, you lose a lot of things, but if you lose your determination, you actually lose everything. No one can take decisive decisions; only strong-willed people can face difficulties and make the most daring decisions to overcome these difficulties. Furthermore, personal abilities, strong personality and determination are factors of success that take people to the top and protect them from downfall.

This applies to those young people who regained their senses after they indulged in drug addiction deluded by their bad company, and their situation got worse and worse without having the courage to make a decision for salvation.

Here is a true story of a young man who opted for drugs for several reasons, and then everyone, even the closest people, detested him. Under the effect of drugs, he lost reason and offended the dearest person to him ‘his father’, but with determination and willpower he made a decisive decision for recovery after he felt completely lost and ostracized. Thus, he came back to his senses on time.

Talking to ‘Ali’, we can easily catch the main reasons that pushed him to drugs, including the role of family problems and bad company, in addition to what made him resort particularly to the “National Rehabilitation Center” for treatment. We also see how he was sure that the center would treat him in ‘complete secrecy’, and how he regained self-confidence and started to plan for a new future after he lost his job and friends.

Khalifa: I regret I lost my life with no remarkable fingerprint

For someone, to lose half of their life in vain, breathing but not living in fact and even not having moments of happiness other than those drug-induced false and quick-to-vanish pleasures followed by nervousness and even craziness; it is really regretful.

For 25 years of addiction, Khalifa suffered from loneliness, insecurity and the loss of his family, friends and even himself. However, it is said that ‘Better late than never’. So, after 25 years of addiction, Khalifa came back to his senses and decided to go in the National Rehabilitation Center to become a new person. Thanks to God, he made it and became optimistic, and his life got much better.

Ibrahim: I never thought drug addiction would be so disastrous

It’s just one step, whether out of curiosity, why not try an ‘abe’ or ‘babysit’ by a bad guy to be ‘over the moon’, and you’ll find yourself in. once stuck there, you’ll find out it’s all a big lie. Soon, the established relationship with your entourage is unsettled and you turn their lives into hell for all you do care for is just a moment of ecstasy under the influence of drugs.

That’s what actually happened to Ibrahim; he didn’t realize his misdeed until he found himself behind bars. Submitting to his wife’s will, Ibrahim accepted to be admitted to NRC thinking it would be a short time after which he would go back to his bad habit. However, once he got there, everything completely changed, and he gradually responded to treatment including psychological therapy, and then returned to his life and family promising them to make up for every moment of nonfeasance.

Khalifa: If you are not self-motivated, treatment won’t work out

Throughout life, everyone passes through many turning points that drive them either for the better or drift them to the worse; it’s up to our reason and will that we decide where in which direction to steer our life, to be on the right track and to overcome all obstacles instead of toppling into the abyss.

At one moment of his life, Khalifa found himself at a turning point. Burdened by some family and emotional problems, he took the wrong decision and found himself in the abyss of drug addiction. Since then, he was a source of troubles to his parents and friends. Once under a dose, he tried to run over his brother; and when his mother tried to stop him, she got mistakenly injured. Even worse, he caused the death of his friend; he gave him a quantity of drugs, but his friend got an overdose and lost his life.

Yet, in spite of darkness, Khalifa saw a ray of light at the end of the tunnel; it guided him back to his family and community. Let’s listen to Khalifa’s account of those lost days of his life; he will explain the reasons, his worst memories and how he was brave enough to take his decision to resort to Abu Dhabi’s National Rehabilitation Center for treatment and follow-up after recovery.

Abdullah: I came back to life thanks to the NRC

The beginning:

Abdullah, 47, who recovered from heroin addiction, says:” my addiction started during a trip to Bangkok when I was 22. I had a strong tendency and curiosity about trying out the effect of drugs without knowing their perilous consequences and this is exactly what I have done. When I traveled back home my journey with multi-substance and drug use began, the last of which was heroin. This carried on for 23 continuous years”.

Temporary joy:

With a sense of regret Abdullah continues: “earlier on in my journey with using drugs I used to control myself and the doses of drugs I take and deceive myself that I can cease using any time I wish. This carried on until the phase addicts refer to as the “joyful phase” passed and I entered in the “decline and pain” phase followed by severe addiction and being unable to keep away from a substance. Money was not an obstacle from getting hold of drugs”.

The vital decision:

“He was like his fellow patients who have been addicted to drugs for long years. He has no hope of ceasing using and escapes this spiral. He carried on using and ended up in jail several times. His family then forced him to enter a treatment centre but the treatment attempts failed to cure him. He relapses and went back to his habit. Abdullah was marked by the fact that addiction treatment centres and clinics are only concerned with the detoxification of body through inhibiting drugs from reaching him for several months then he is released. This method is not only wrong but perilous. Most patients will relapse as soon as they are freed and they go back to using once again”.

The treatment journey:

Abdullah continues his story by saying that ‘he was transferred to the National Rehabilitation Centre where he was warmly a respectfully welcomed. He was told by specialists that his illness requires treatment. He was told that he was neither a criminal nor devious from a behavioural standpoint as he was made to believe by others. After a period of treatment he began to sense a relief from stress and a started to believe that he can give up using for good. Abdullah has been for the last three and half years a fully recovered person and continues to follow treatment programmes which help him maintain his recovery”.


Abdullah expressed his views regarding the necessity to develop addiction rehabilitation centres throughout the country and take the NRC in Abu Dhabi as a modal. This he said will help addiction patients to recover and continue to reintegrate once more in social life; in addition to correcting misconceptions about the nature of addiction disease be it amongst families, treatment centres or correctional facilities as the current inappropriate methods used to deal with recovering addicts fail to encourage them. In the contrary, the have counter effect which make individuals carry on using and try to cheat their way through the conventional treatment methods.

Ali: The decision to quit using was a turning point in my life

The beginning:

Ali is 43 and a recovered addict. His experience with drugs started with one of his relatives who incited him to take hashish when he was 14. Things evolved and he started using different types of drugs until he ended up with heroin. His addiction experience lasted for 11 years during which he lost his family and was imprisoned more than once.

A decisive decision:

“I took the decision to quit using” Ali continues “after my father’s health deteriorated and after three of my friends who quitted and recovered from addiction after being treated at the NRC. They suggested I should seek treatment at the centre. I did and recovered from my addiction. From his own experience, Ali said, addiction patients face a real dilemma in putting their hands on how to get effective treatment which will help them kick the habit of addiction, avoid relapsing once again and sustain their recovery.

The National Rehabilitation Centre:

Ali added “it is unfortunate that there is just one rehabilitation centre that treats addiction nationwide and it is the National Rehabilitation Centre in Abu Dhabi while there are addiction patients throughout the country and these people cannot find a suitable place for treatment”. “The majority of addiction patients who get referred by courts or police stations to addiction treatment clinics in hospitals” he continues “relapse after leaving these clinics. They are incarcerated inside these facilities for periods of several months during which the patient moves from being active to abstaining without recovering from addiction. He will not last long after his release to start using all over again”.

Prevention is better than a great deal of treatment:

Ali stresses that ‘following quitting use of drugs, addiction patients need rehabilitation programs which help them to protect themselves from relapsing and going back to using drugs, guide them to overcome obstacles and impede the negative thoughts which cross their minds from time to time and incite them to withdraw and start using once again.

Ali emphasized the importance that health and police authorities in the country consider addicts as patients who suffer an illness as diabetics, patients of blood pressure or other illness. Addiction patients need support and help throughout their lives in order to maintain their recovery. He would like to see a development of rehabilitation centres throughout the emirates of the country and support them with specialists and doctors. He also referred to the importance of revising current laws in such a way that those arrested for drug-related cases are not sent to prison as this will increase the number of patients as a result of beginners mixing up with experience users.

Individuals incarcerated should be referred to specialized rehabilitation centres. He stresses that prisons are not a treatment option for an addict and the only option is a rehabilitation centre. There the chances of recovery maintaining it increase.