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Artificial Intelligence to combat drug abuse

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A pioneering national initiative has been introduced in the kingdom, harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to address drug abuse among individuals. This unique project, the first-of-its-kind in the Middle East, aims to identify individuals who are more susceptible to relapse by employing various AI techniques. By doing so, it provides them with essential family and psychological support during the rehabilitation process. Divided into two phases, the national project seeks to enhance addiction recovery rates by focusing on treatment and recovery, as well as bolster efforts to combat illicit drugs and reinforce border security.

These significant details were unveiled during the Bahrain ceremony commemorating the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on June 26.

During the event, the Interior Minister and National Anti-Narcotics Committee chairman, General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, delivered a speech to an audience consisting of ministers and dignitaries. In his address, Gen Shaikh Rashid emphasised that Bahrain has maintained a stable drug use rate of three per cent in reported crimerelated cases over the past three years. This is in stark contrast to the alarming statistic provided by the United Nations (UN), which states that a staggering 270m individuals worldwide continue to use narcotics. “According to the UN reports of 2022, more than 270m individuals use narcotics,” said Gen Shaikh Rashid. “In Bahrain, by the grace of God, there has been no increase in the last three years, with the ratio remaining stable at 3pc of the total reported crime-related cases.

Artificial Intelligence to combat drug abuse

“Furthermore, the minister expressed his gratitude to the General Directorate of Criminal Investigation and Forensic Science, the Anti-Narcotics Directorate, various ministries, organisations, and individuals for their unwavering efforts in combating drug use and trafficking in Bahrain.

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“To achieve success in fighting illicit drugs, we should continue to fight narcotics at borders, schools, youth and sports centres and houses, and through the press and cyberspace,” he said.

“In fact, we fight the spread of narcotics through knowledge and parental and national responsibility. It is undoubtedly a dangerous international security phenomenon that all should cooperate to fight. It is no secret to you that today, in our security arena, we deal with and focus, in addition to combating drugs, on several security phenomena and challenges, such as combating corruption, following up on electronic and ethical transgressions, as well as following up on any traffic chaos.” A film on the committee’s efforts and society’s role in fighting illicit drugs by countering supply and demand and raising awareness through modern technology was featured. It highlighted the awareness programmes that meet police antidrug efforts.

Gen Shaikh Rashid also honoured individuals who cooperated with the Anti-Narcotics Directorate.

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