By Lakshmi Kothaneth — MUSCAT: Jan 23 – Besides entertainment and showcasing Oman’s culture and traditions, Muscat Festival also plays a serious role: raising public awareness about the dangers of drug abuse. Just before you reach the Heritage Village at Al Amerat Park, one of the venues of the festival, through Gate 1, is a bus that functions as an exhibition. It’s a Mobile Awareness Exhibition on the ‘Impact of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances’ by Royal Oman Police. At the entrance is a table with printed materials for visitors to learn about ‘drugs and their impact on life’.
A walk through the bus enlightens one on the different warning signs that can be detected. Visitors get a peek into the substances of abuse, tools used by drug addicts, how they are smuggled and the harm it causes. “We are going to be here throughout the Muscat Festival,” said an officer at the mobile exhibition. The message from National Committee for Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances to the youth is, “Beware of smoking. It is the first step towards the world of addiction because it can develop into alcohol and narcotic addiction.
Do not take any pills or medicines of unknown source or without prescription, even if it is from your closest friends.” “Narcotics are the main cause of delinquency and crime, so beware of them. Avoid any financial temptation from drug traffickers as their money is illicit. Accidents on the road are linked to use of drugs and alcohol,” says the committee. Most importantly, the message says: “Using drugs and psychotropic substances are more lethal for those who start them at an early age.”