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

Publish Date: 29-12-2013 | A- A A+

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.

The Beginning

At the age of 16, just willing to try, Khalifa began taking Tramadol pills; it started out of ‘just a try’ but continued for 5 years, till he was 21 years old.

About his start, Khalifa says “I was still a schoolboy when dad passed away; as the youngest, I was my mum’s mollycoddle; she never allowed my elder brothers to bully me even when I came back home late, so they distanced from me and I had no one to chat with; I found my friends were closer to me and I started to spend most of my time out with them.”

“I just wanted to run away from my depressing family problems; besides, I had a love affair with ‘someone’, but we parted, following which I underwent bad moments; and not to forget of course my bad friends. All that drove me to addiction; it was the resort where I can run away and forget everything”, Khalifa explains.

He stresses that addiction could be caused from within and without as well; from one’s household or street boys, “in my case, it was first my friend and then the abuse by my family”.

Temporary Pleasure

About the way he felt whenever he used drugs, Khalifa says “I felt happy and relaxed; I didn’t think of anybody or anything, and I just forgot about everything that used to bother me. Drug taking gives me a feeling of being a tough person, but this feeling is gone when drugs’ effect comes to an end. In the beginning, it is nice, but after a while it turns into a nightmare that controls you and you can’t get rid of.”

“I often slept or remained awake for two days. Once I wake up, I had my meal and then took some drugs, or if not available I go out to get some. After that, I either stayed at home or went out with my friends to take drugs somewhere, fight with people, steal, go to night clubs, drink alcohol and do abnormal things” he pointed out.

“At the end, my family was aware of everything; my behavior and staying out late disclosed my secret. They advised me frequently to stop it; though I frequently promised, I frequently failed to keep my word to them” Khalifa made clear.

“At first, I lied to my mother and even swore by the Holy Quran that I was taking vitamins and enhancers, not drugs. Then, I blamed my family because they indirectly helped me to take drugs. After telling them the truth, I persuaded my mother that I was taking a medication for addiction treatment, so she started to give it to me and quarrel with my siblings preventing them from taking it away saying ‘leave it, it’s Khalifa’s medication’. That’s how I got more addicted to drugs” he added.

“Over five years of addiction, I tried to quit several times, but I couldn’t for more than one day. I couldn’t control myself, and I felt that it was impossible to quit” he made clear.

Feeling Guilty

No matter how long someone is lost, it happens they come back to their senses at one moment. Khalifa had that experience “The last situation I experienced was a real disaster. Under drugs’ effect, I wanted to run over my brother for no reason, and while I was chasing him my mother tried to stop me and I hit her by mistake. At this moment, I felt completely lost and knew that I reached the point where I could kill my brother or mother under drugs’ effect.”

“After this incident, I had a lot of problems and got very tired, and my condition got worse and worse. I slept on streets or in the car, and I blocked traffic standing in the middle of roads. So, I talked to my elder brother after five years of separation, and I told him that I wanted to get treatment at Abu Dhabi National Rehabilitation Center. Then, I discussed with my family how to start my treatment course and solve my problem, and I thank God for that” he added.

“I first talked to them about my addiction and will to get treatment. They didn’t know anything about how difficult it was to quit, and that I need to follow a treatment course of several stages at a rehabilitation center for quitting and getting cured” Khalifa made clear.

Khalifa remembers some sad incidents for which he felt guilty. “It happened that I gave a drug to a friend of mine, and he died after taking it. I wish this wouldn’t happen again to me or to anybody else.”

 “I felt guilty towards myself because I lost my life and future, and I also felt guilty towards everyone I have hurt or done wrong. Four friends of mine died because of some accident under drugs’ effect or taking deadly amounts of drugs” he added.

Treatment Course

When Khalifa got the courage to face his drug addiction problem, the first thing he thought of was resorting to Abu Dhabi’s National Rehabilitation Center. “When I told my family about the center’s services, they encouraged me to get treatment there, and didn’t hesitate to take me to the center.”

About how he felt on his first day at the center, Khalifa said “At the beginning, I wasn’t very conscious or mindful, but after some time I realized that I was at the right place. I thought I was the only one facing this problem, but at the center I found similar people with other experiences. Moreover, when I dealt with the center’s team of doctors and specialists, I felt so relaxed and happy and knew that I made the right decision. Thank God, now I’m very content with myself, and – God willing –I will be better and stronger every day.”

 “Of course, I initially had some difficulties such as the pains of the withdrawal syndrome stage, body and joint pains, vomiting, insomnia, sleeplessness, chronic headache, mood changes and nervousness” he added.

National Rehabilitation Center

Khalifa also appreciates NRC’s role, other than treatment, in his recovery. He says “I had difficult circumstances. Two addict brothers; one to alcohol, the other to drugs, but he was treated abroad. I was always thinking and worrying about how to protect myself if I happened to meet them again. So, I consulted the center’s psychological professionals and social workers who advised me on what to do and how to protect myself, and I highly appreciate their assistance. Thank God, I have now completed 8 months and 15 days without taking drugs.”

 “The National Rehabilitation Center made my life and behavior much better as it provided me with many skills I didn’t have before. We had group treatment sessions in which we shared our experiences in the presence of psychological and social specialists. We talked and expressed ourselves honestly, and the specialists advised us and answered our questions. These sessions made me more self-confident and inspired me with the power to continue my treatment course and confidently involve myself in discussions and conversations” Khalifa stressed.

“During my treatment course at the center, I learned a lot from the experiences of others and the pieces of advice of doctors and psychological specialists. The lectures held at the center also were very helpful and provided us with skills, awareness and experience in several life aspects. These lectures taught us how to face problems and not to run away through taking drugs or any other wrong choices, and also taught us how to continue and maintain our life after recovery” he added.

Privacy and Confidentiality

Khalifa praised the center’s privacy and confidentiality policy, saying “It’s really great that everything is done in complete confidentiality, and the center is committed to maintaining patients’ privacy. Nobody would know anything about me unless I consented.”

“It would have been difficult to be cured without the help of the National Rehabilitation Center, because I could quit and then take drugs again. Thanks to God and the center, I have become in such a good condition after recovery from drug addiction, and I acquired new skills and a positive change in my personality and behavior” he pointed out.

“The center’s role is not restricted to treatment courses; it also does its best to help patients regain their self-confidence and rehabilitate them to become active members in the society. For example, the center had borne the costs of a minor hajj journey for a group of us guided by a team of specialists and administrative staff, and I would like to thank them for this great opportunity” he added.

On how he feels after recovery and what he is planning for the future, Khalifa said “Thank God, I’m so happy and content. God willing, I will get married very soon in order to have a stable life and will go back to work. I haven’t lost my job, and I wish to become an assistant specialist at a drug addiction treatment center to benefit myself and others.”


“One of the fundamentals I learned at the center is to keep away from three things: places, persons and tools. I should not go back to the usual places that would remind me of that time, the persons with whom I used to take drugs, and the tools used for this practice including drugs” he added.

 “If I meet a drug addict one day, I won’t help him, because I have weaknesses and I will be afraid of returning to drugs, and also because drug addicts won’t listen unless they really want to be cured. Therefore, I would rather go to one of his family members or relatives and advise them to have him admitted to the center for treatment. During my five year addiction, people came and advised me to get treatment, but I didn’t listen to them, and I got cured only when I wanted that” he stressed.

Khalifa concluded by thanking NRC for its efforts, treatment techniques and all kinds of support (moral, psychological, medical, physical, educational, and recreational) from day one until now. “I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to the center’s team of doctors, psychological and social specialists, administrative staff and all other team members in this great institution. I also thank God all the time for helping me get cured. To my family, I would like to say: please forgive me for all what I have done, and I promise you that I will never let you down again and – God willing – I will keep on the right track.”


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